Colombia's agricultural development body International Colombian Corporation (CCI) has joined forces will similar associations throughout South America in a bid to develop agro-industrial projects and increase international market access opportunities.
The CCI will work together with the Peruvian Citrus Growers Association (ProCitrus) and Chilean grower group Fedefruta to combine administrative, financial, economic and technical efforts for industry development.
The agreements also aim to expand activities in the areas of safety, market access, association strengthening, and promoting fruit and vegetable consumption.
CCI president Adriana Senior told www.freshfruitportal.com the strategic alliances were focused on attracting support and investment for Colombian agriculture.
"We are convinced that a partnership always brings a range of ideas and can help a lot," Senior said.
Senior also praised Fedefruta's efforts in terms of industry development and trade union support, and said she was look forward to working with Peru to continue cutting red tape.
"The changes in legislation that were made in Peru greatly helped agricultural development, and we want to build on that legislation that helped the country grow its fruit and vegetable sectors," Senior said.
Peru has recently gone from being a net food importer to a net exporter with the value of the country's agri-exports having increased seven-fold between 2000 and 2013, according to Association of Peruvian Agricultural Producers Unions (AGAP).
"There is much we have to learn from these two countries and there is also much that we can provide them with," Senior said.
"Our experience in the implementation of the Competitive and Sustainable Agribusiness Models [MACS] can be replicated anywhere in the world and even more in these growing agro-industrial economies."
Senior went on to say she wanted to strengthen Colombia's free trade agreements and diversify the country's agricultural industry, with less focus on bananas and more on crops like papayas, pineapples, melons and exotic fruits.
Photo: famer technical training - CCI