BETTER “GENERATIONAL SPLICE” THAN “GENERATIONAL HANDOVER”

04/2017
The new proposal of young coffee farmers to approach one of the sector biggest problems.

The last march 17th, Solidaridad participated in the young coffee farmers meeting, an event in which 135 young people of Risaralda, Caldas, Cauca y Valle del Cauca shared successful experiences of youth work, identified sector issues and proposed alternative solutions to make it more attractive to the new generations.

 

The main objective of the event was to develop a conclusions document from the perspective of young people to presented it at the National Meeting of Young Coffee Farmers that will take place at the end of this year.

 

CHANGING THE NAME

 

One of the most important topics that were covered in the event was about changing the word "generational handover" because it doesn't reflect what coffee families are living.

 

To young people and their parents, it's not about replacing and be replaced but about giving place to the knowledge and contributions of all generations that participate in coffee growing. What they want is to complement their parents and grandparents work in the farms.    

 

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According to the representatives of "Comité de cafeteros de Caldas", "the splice is a transition process and a condition to the generational handover that begins with dialogue and complementation of knowledge between young coffee farmers and the rest of the actors".

 

SOLIDARIDAD CONTRIBUTION

 

Solidaridad coffee team was invited to the event to present the study "The succession of coffee farmers in Colombia - the voice of young rural people", a document built on the framework of the Sustainable Trade Platform to help overcome one of the biggest challenges of the coffee sector in terms of sustainability.

 

As the study was carried out through participative methodologies that allowed to identified the opinion, motivations, and expectations of young rural people from 5 departments of the country, the event organizers asked Solidaridad to facilitate the worktables of the Meeting of young coffee farmers.

 

IF I WERE THE MINISTER

 

Through the game "Ministerial Cabinet" developed by Solidaridad, the assistants represented, with hats, wigs, ties and necklaces, ministry officials who have a direct relationship with some of the coffee issues.

 

During the activity, each ministry prioritized the problems of young farmers and their families related to educational infrastructure, land tenure, access to credit, decent working conditions, mechanization and field technology, among others.

 

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In the end solutions strategies were formulated to be shared in the National Encounter of Young Coffee Growers of Colombia where the assistants will rethink the coffee sector from the new generations perspectives.

 

Although this is only a step towards sustainability, the balance of the event was positive because the desire, commitment, and conviction of the young people who worry about the future of coffee farming and build new scenarios to develop their life projects in the rural sector were evident.

 

SOME DATA

  • Agriculture accounts for 32% of total employment worldwide. (DANE, 2014)

  • According to data from the World Bank, the rural population in Colombia has fallen from 55% in 1950 to 24% in 2015.

  • Most farmers are between 40 and 54 years old. (DANE, 2014)
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