In Fonseca, La Guajira, a group of ex-combatants supported by PASO Colombia is scaling up their enterprise of laying hens in a silvopastoral system, generating income and savings opportunities for neighboring communities.
On the Nueva Colombia farm, near the Territorial Space for Training and Reincorporation (ETCR) of Pondores, a group of ex-combatants established a laying hen breeding project since 2018 as part of their social and economic reincorporation process. This initiative was accompanied by PASO Colombia, through the Alternative Rural School (ERA) model together with other projects for their food security, strengthening the relations of the reincorporated population with the community that welcomed them. Today, the growth and diversification of productive projects has strengthened the ERA de Fonseca as an optimal space for income generation through joint work between ex-combatants, peasants and allied institutions.
Currently, the productive unit of laying hens in a silvopastoral system has been consolidated as a successful productive project. The project generates income for ex-combatants in the reincorporation process, offers fair prices for egg buyers, and has financed the creation of other productive units in the ERA . Thanks to the financial support and accompaniment of the World Food Plan (WFP) , the International Labor Organization (ILO) , the COOMPAZCOL Cooperative and PASO Colombia, the facilities were expanded and modernized to receive 1,600 new laying hens. The objective is to reach 8,000 hens that guarantee a production of 1,400,000 eggs for sale in the region.
The strengthening of this productive project proposes the linking of the rural community of the Conejo villages. With the technical support provided through the Fonseca ERA, and the provision for the installation of sheds, crops to supplement the diet of the animals, among other inputs, the aim is to create a community system for the production of eggs from grazing hens. Its operation will be in charge of groups of women in each village, it will offer low prices for local buyers and it will involve women from the Conejo community in work and training. In addition, the social reintegration of ex-combatants with the community is promoted, thanks to a project that enables economic exchanges between participants and their families.
The laying hens project has encouraged exchanges of work, products and services that favor both the participants and local consumers. Its scaling would benefit 100 families from nearby villages with healthier eggs at a lower cost, guaranteeing income and food amid the economic challenges generated by the country's health crisis.
Currently, the COOMPAZOL Cooperative and PASO Colombia are looking for allies who are interested in supporting the scaling of the project, guaranteeing that the joint work will have positive impacts throughout the region.