The supply and demand of food in indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon has become an important topic due to increasing rates of malnutrition, diet simplification and low local production. Tropenbos International Colombia is currently developing a strategy to support the recovery of the agrobiodiversity of the Amazon region and the traditional practices related to agriculture, fishing and wild fauna management in order to contribute to the local food security governance.
Food security in indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon faces many challenges such as new settlement patterns, changes in consumption due to the external market dependency, the deculturalization of indigenous ethnic groups, negative impacts of the paternalistic response of the State’s food assistance framework, the loss of seeds and traditional knowledge related to food production processes and the disregard on the social and cultural aspects by part of the policy makers.
Tropenbos International Colombia’s strategy proposes activities directed to updating the diagnostic of the natural resources in the area through community monitoring, accompanying the local authorities and local communities in developing programs to recover local variety of cultivated plants and the recovery of traditional knowledge related to local nutrition patterns. It also seeks to identify food options for extreme conditions like unexpected floods and prolonged draughts. On the other hand, the strategy aims at influencing policy makers by showing good practices of food security from an autonomous, local and traditional framework and by installing a multi-stakeholder dialogue to promote policy analysis and the changes in attitude necessary for a better national attention to food security challenges.
TBI Colombia promotes an understanding of the the Amazon rainforest as a food provider, and aims to generate an awareness of the importance this ecosystem has for the food security of local communities. This project seeks to engage communities in maintaining the local variety through seed banks and organizing the local production of food in such a way that the ecosystem is protected and the supply matches the local demand. Therefore, the project not only provides knowledge of the existing variety and the strategies to keep such diversity alive, but also promotes a change in the attitude of the multiple actors and the recognition of the importance traditional practices in the decision making processes.
The project takes place in 10 communities in the Araracuara region, Selva de Matavén and Leticia. It promotes the research of two PhD candidates, more than ten MSc students and more than twenty local researchers.
Laura Luna, Norway University (PhD Candidate)
Nelsa de la Hoz, Universidad de los Andes (PhD Candidate)
Communities in the Araracuara region
Communities in Selva de Matavén
Communities in the area of influence of Leticia