In the Nueva Colombia farm, near the Training and Reincorporation Territorial Space (ETCR for its acronym in Spanish) of Pondores, a group of ex-combatants established a project to raise laying hens as part of their social and economic reincorporation process in 2018. This initiative was supported by PASO Colombia, through the Rural Alternative School (ERA) model along with other projects for their food security, strengthening the reincorporated population’s relationship with the community that took them in. Today, the growth and diversification of productive projects has upheld the Fonseca ERA as an optimal space for income generation through joint work between ex-combatants, farmers and allied institutions.
Currently, the productive unit of laying hens in a silvopastoral system has been consolidated as a successful productive project. The project generates income for ex-combatants in the reincorporation process, offers fair prices for egg buyers, and has financed the creation of other production units within the ERA. Thanks to the financial support and accompaniment from the World Food Plan (WFP), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the COOMPAZCOL Cooperative and PASO Colombia, their facilities were expanded and upgraded to receive 1,600 new laying hens. The goal is to reach 8,000 hens that will guarantee a production of 1,400,000 eggs for selling in the region.
The strengthening of this productive project proposes the involvement of the farming community in the villages around Conejo. With the technical support provided through the Fonseca ERA, and the provision of equipment for the installation of sheds and crops to supplement the animals' diet, among other supplies, the project seeks to create a community egg production system using pastured hens. It will be operated by groups of women in each village, offering low prices for local buyers and involving women from the Conejo community in labor and training. It will also promote the social reincorporation of ex-combatants into the community, thanks to a project that enables economic exchanges between participants and their families.
The laying hens project has encouraged the exchange of labor, products and services which benefit both participants and local consumers. Its escalation would benefit 100 families in nearby villages with healthier eggs at a lower cost, guaranteeing income and food in the midst of the economic challenges generated by the country's health crisis.
COOMPAZOL Cooperative and PASO Colombia are currently looking for partners interested in supporting the project’s escalation, ensuring that the joint work will have a positive impact on the entire region.