The Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America (CISAL) Program implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), is a $20 million five-year regional initiative (2014-2019) funded in large part by the Canadian Government’s Global Affairs Canada. CISAL support local governments in Colombia and Peru to successfully manage the impacts and benefits from mining development and promote sustainable economic growth for women and men in Latin America. Cannexion recently visited four municipalities (Santa Fe de Antioquia, Buritica, Fontino and Cañasgordas) in the southwestern region of the Antioquia department in Colombia. This area has a strong agricultural tradition but is currently being affected by the gold mining occurring in Buritica both through the Continental Gold´s operation and informal mining. This region is now preparing for the construction of a series of highways (Mar I and II, Toyo Tunnel) that will connect Medellin city to the port of Urabá on the Caribbean Sea, increasing the potential for exportation.
In order to improve sustainable economic development, the program with the help from Cannexion aims to work with Local Governments (LGs) and producers to strengthen productive chains, improve products, and enable exportation of goods. The main products in the region that are produced are coffee, baby banana, beans, and a variety of fruit.
Cannexion visited productive projects in each of the four municipalities to understand the current state of production and potential for exportation. This activity included meetings with Local Government representatives, who will then accompany the site visits to producers of coffee, baby banana, traditional crops like beans, sugar cane, fruit, as well as a dairy plant and a slaughterhouse.
We also participated in one day workshop with a variety of stakeholders in the province, including local government representatives, the University of Antioquia, Chamber of Commerce, the provincial ministry of Agriculture, the Secretariat of Competition and Productivity of Antioquia, CORPOICA and SENA. During the talks, connexion provided key considerations for the exportation of products, information on the Canadian market and guidelines to successful trade with Canada.