Forum for Rural Development, a space to learn about the current situation and propose changes

  • The microfinance bank Bancamía S.A., BBVA Microfinance Foundation, the International Financial Corporation (IFC) and the National Planning Department (DNP) are due to hold the first Forum for Rural Development next 18 September in Bogotá.
  • One of the overriding goals of this encounter is to explore the role of responsible financing for productive activities as a means of contributing to rural development in Colombia.
  • The primary objective of this encounter is to articulate the efforts of both the public and private sectors in order to come up with integrated proposals to enable rural areas in Colombia to become more productive and competitive.

According to data from the Government’s National Statistical Department (DANE), poverty affects 42.8% of the rural population in Colombia (2013). This figure is in stark contrast with the 30.6% poverty rate for the country as a whole.

Transforming the current situation is a job that requires leadership, knowledge and willingness, and this is why the microfinance bank Bancamía S.A., BBVA Microfinance Foundation (FMBBVA), the International Financial Corporation (IFC), and the National Planning Department (DNP)decided to set up a space for reflection and study to encourage ideas to promote the progress of the rural population, and next 18 September has convened a group of experts in rural affairs who will address these issues from different viewpoints.

The main protagonists of this encounter will be the rural farmers themselves, who will describe their situation, after which the specialists will analyze scenarios and solutions in areas such as public policies to target the countryside and the characterization of the demand for financial services. The IFC will give an account of its experience in this field in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Director of the Rural Finance Program at Ohio State University (United States) will talk about farming and rural microfinance (see program attached).

The forum will also be a chance to learn about some experiences in responsible finance for successful productive activities that have had a favorable impact on rural farmers’ economic and social development, and on the competitiveness and sustainability of the farming sector in Colombia. It will be a space to discuss the mechanisms needed for the institutional reinforcement of bodies that support its mission of generating development in rural areas.

Junto a esto, el Foro permitirá conocer algunas experiencias de financiación responsable para actividades productivas exitosas que inciden favorablemente en el desarrollo económico y social de los campesinos, la competitividad y sostenibilidad del sector agro en Colombia. También será un espacio para plantear mecanismos que conlleven al fortalecimiento institucional de entidades afines con su misión, de generar desarrollo en zonas rurales.