Loading...
Seeds of Hope: Colombia
Now Watching
Seeds of Hope: Colombia
Next Suggested Video
Who's the Farmer?
Many Colombian farmers face a period of hunger from June to September when there are no crops to harvest. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture works with the community and small-scale farmers to research and develop strategies and solutions. Find out how these innovative farmers are combating hunger and climate change through groundbreaking research.
Flash Player 9.0.115+ or HTML5 video support is required to play this video.
 
Loading...

Directed by Sarah Hesterman.

Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.

Find out more about CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

Loading...

Share this video

Include start time Get current time
Include related videos, articles & actions
Loading...

Segment 1

TITLE
International Center for Tropical Agriculture Participatory Research Program, Cauca, Colombia
VOICEOVER
CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, works directly with farmers in Latin America to improve food security. Farmers and scientists work together to research technologies and solutions that are best suited to the community. Using a hands-on approach, solutions are developed that are adaptable to diverse local situations.
SUSAN KAARIA [Senior Research Fellow, International Center for Tropical Agriculture]
These are farmers that live, first of all, on hillsides. It's highly eroded land. The rainfall may not be really high. They're living, really, on the margins of society. They're really poor. They live in very harsh environments, and, basically, the idea is to develop technologies that are applicable with the scarce resources that they have, so that they are able to adopt them.
VOICEOVER
The program works with the community to develop a local agricultural research committee. The committee, called a CIAL [Comite de Investigacion Agricola Local, Committee for Local Agricultural Investigation] in Spanish, is comprised of local farmers. A trained facilitator and modest funding help to support the CIAL's activities. The committee identifies problems they are having with their crops, then conducts research to find solutions. These solutions, developed within the community, have been much more successful than those coming from outside institutions. El Jardin is a CIAL in Colombia that is conducting research on bean and corn varieties. Research on crop varieties and farming methods teach the community how to produce more food. The farmers of El Jardin have been very successful in finding solutions through research.
SUSAN KAARIA
There's this long period of time, which is called the hungry season. It's from about June to September. This is the period after they've harvested, eaten their food, sold, and so it's before they can start harvesting the next season. The community identified this as a big problem, food insecurity and having a very wide hungry period, and what the CIAL did was they tested a lot of different seeds, and they identified this maize variety and planted that. The best part about it is that it's an early-maturing crop that matures in, like, 70 days, so the CIAL is able to plant twice a year.
MAN [Farmer]
Before the research project, we produced very little. Now we are always producing. We have good beans and corn almost all year for our families.
VOICEOVER
The project is successful on many levels. Not only is the community able to produce more food, but the people have discovered the power to solve their own problems.
SUSAN KAARIA
What I hope for the future is for the communities to take charge of their lives. When a group of farmers, like the CIAL, is able to see it and become like scientists, you build the capacity that's incredible, and, for us, that's really the essence of what we want, is that these community members are left with this capability at the end of the day.