The Rural Alternative School of Pasca Supports Food Provision in Bogotá During COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Rural Alternative School of Pasca Supports Food Provision in Bogotá During COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 inside one of the most important food depot facilities in Colombia, the city of Bogotá has faced food shortages resulting in price increases. At the same time, food harvested in the countryside is regularly lost due to a lack of distribution channels. As an answer to these problems, the Municipality of Bogotá organized the Mobile Peasant Markets with the slogan “Who seeds it is who sells it.” The Mobile Peasant Markets gather farmers cooperatives from the Bogotá rurality and the central region of the department, and allow them to offer their products by the Mobile Peasant Market website or a special phone number to call and place the order. This give them the opportunity to sell their seasonal harvest without brokers, and at affordable prices.

The cooperative COOMUPAS, a participant of PASO Colombia’s Rural Alternative School in Pasca, carried out a pilot sales test through this platform and proved the advantages offered by it. To date, the balance indicates 800 kilos of food sold and they are already preparing for additional orders. These markets are delivered thanks to the transport and logistics support provided by the ERA participants. Diego Muñoz, technical assistant for ERA Pasca, says, "We are betting on the success of this initiative. For many situations, we decided that the orders will be delivered directly from the ERA to the buyers' homes in Bogota, avoiding intermediate loading and unloading of the goods. We are feeling good, despite the difficulties. We think it is very good to have started and to have had sales since the beginning. Also importantly, there has been satisfaction on the part of the clients; they have said that they will buy again, that the prices and the products are very good. Thus, we are very happy.”

Thanks to the Mobile Peasant Markets it is now possible to guarantee sanitation protocols for the agricultural products being sold in order to ensure safety standards for the delivery services, as well as help people avoid crowds at the Central Markets. All these measures are designed to control the spread of the virus in the city, one of the most affected by the COVID crisis. In addition, the COOMUPAS cooperative and the ERA of Pasca are looking  to bring more farmers together to expand crop production and to generate additional income by developing new projects. 

Learn more about this activity in: Mobile Peasant Markets – Who seed it is who sell it