THE RISE OF INTEGRATED AND SELF-SUFFICIENT FARMS IN COLOMBIA AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS.

Ginna Paola Forero

5 February, 2022

Due to the quarantine decreed by the National Government to mitigate the contagion of Covid-19 in the country, and the phenomena of food hoarding that have been seen despite the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure supply throughout the country, many people see in self-sufficient integral farms an increasingly interesting option.

While there is no consensus on what size a farm should be – it depends on the intensity and variety of crops – there is consensus on the elements that must make up a farm to fall into the category of self-sustaining integral. Ideally, these should have: an ecological house, an agricultural component, an animal component, a system for recycling biological material and the use of alternative energy sources, and everything should be related in a chain of biological utilization.

Although there is no record of how many farms of this type there are in the country, more and more people have started self-sustainable projects that, although they do not yet have all the elements, are on their way to becoming integral farms. “In some way, the peasant family economies of pancoger, especially those of coffee growers, are self-sufficient, since they usually have, in addition to coffee plantations, citrus, fruit trees, pigs and chickens”, says Jorge Enrique Bedoya, president of the SAC.

The components that the farms have developed the most are agriculture, almost always with organic vegetable gardens, and animals, still leaving room to grow in terms of waste recycling and renewable energies. “Most of the self-sufficient farms with organic crops work with conviction in this way, but the difficulty is in production at scale,” explains Luis Betancourt, president of Fedeorgánicos.

The biggest challenge facing farms today, in order to be truly integrated and self-sufficient, is the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, to optimize water extraction processes, especially from the subsoil, not only for domestic use, but also for animal consumption and plant irrigation.

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