Improving the Social Status, Increasing Incomes Of Afro-Colombian And Indigenous Peoples

Building on activities under the USAID-funded Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Program (ACIP), ACDI/VOCA implemented a joint program with INCODER, the Colombian Institute of Rural Development. The ACIP-INCODER program empowered Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities in some of Colombia’s poorest and most under-developed regions by promoting economic security and formalizing territorial rights. The main objective of these projects was to strengthen ethnic organizations and improve traditional cultivation practices that are being lost, making sure that all activities fit within the cultural framework of the communities.

Through community-based projects, the program worked directly with leaders and members of Afro-Colombian community councils and indigenous collective territory councils. It provided technical assistance to build organizational capacities and support the collective land titling process. To achieve economic security for Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations, the program developed 38 projects focused on improved territorial use and management through activities such as improved value chain processes, seed recovery, recovery of traditional cultivation methods, crop diversification, food preparation education, and the general improvement of agricultural cultivation techniques and processes. In some cases, beneficiaries received necessary in-kind grants (e.g., goats, poultry and fish) and technical assistance to establish small livestock farming activities. In 10 of the ACDI/VOCA-INCODER projects, Afro-Colombian community councils and indigenous councils received technical assistance on the land titling process.

INCODER is a government entity whose mandate is to implement rural development policies in coordination with communities and public and private institutions in the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors to improve rural communities’ quality of life and contribute to Colombia’s socioeconomic development. INCODER is the only entity in Colombia responsible for individual and collective land titling. INCODER has provided COP$10,550,000,000 (approximately US$5.9 million) of government funding to collaborate with ACDI/VOCA and the ACIP program on land titling and economic security projects for Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities.

For more information on ACDI/VOCA’s work in Colombia.