Without an in-depth review and distorting their speeches, a group of people with clear political goals perversely encouraged the ranchers to attack their own project, of which the executor fully fulfilled the functions.
It is about the project “Adopt appropriate practices of production, management and conservation of fodder to strengthen livestock activity in the department of Casanare” which was born as a proposal from the farmers themselves, who raised the current governor with the need to “facilitate the fishing rod and not the gift of fish for lunch”.
Given the natural summer cycle in Casanare until now, it was a tradition that, from time to time, governments “give away” a few bales of fodder to feed cattle due to the scarcity of pastures, without even guaranteeing the quality of said nutrition. .
After analyzing the situation, the ranchers themselves, especially those members of the Yopal Regional Ranchers Committee, understood that the actors in this economic line should also be generators of their food security by having fodder banks.
After the necessary management, the aforementioned project was generated, which is part of the new trends of public-private alliances, in which everyone contributes, everyone wins. That is to say, it takes a step forward to combat assistance that does not overcome basic difficulties and, on the contrary, allows a long-term vision.
The campaigns started
Several weeks ago, the social and political leader Mónica Mora, and the former secretary of agriculture and now candidate for the Departmental Assembly, María Elena Díaz Arias, began to meet with some ranchers from Paz de Ariporo, who have been misrepresented information and have prevented at all costs a constructive dialogue based on substantive arguments, with the clear objective of generating noise and posing as champions of the defense of the interests of the peasants.
This is inferred from the two meetings on site, in which the delegates of the Casanare Governor’s Office, of the Creo País Corporation, of the inspectorate, have been booed and ignored when they try to expose the aspects of the project in its entirety and execution.
In fact, Díaz Arias was secretary of the current government during the first year, and therefore knows the steps that the Yopal Cattlemen’s Committee made from the beginning to include this initiative in the Development Plan and the Government Program; that is to say, she knows the subject in depth and, if it had been wrongly formulated, she would also have been involved in the error of her conception.
Despite this, he does not directly expose the subject and expands on speeches on political corruption, the need for change and other diatribes to capitalize on emotions for political purposes.
As far as is known, she wants to be a candidate for the Departmental Assembly and seeks support in this aspiration.
On the other hand, the lawyer Mónica Mora, is a political activist of the Green Party and stands out in her work to demand a better execution in the so-called Vía Bicentenario, north of Casanare.
However, the Creo País Foundation provided her with all the documentation related to the fodder project and offered to enlighten her on the various aspects, without undermining her independence in citizen deliberation, and, despite the fact that they agreed that once the information had been read, would meet for this purpose, even accompanied by some farmers, this did not occur for an adequate technical and administrative follow-up.
On the other hand, in each meeting that is held in the northern region, there are more and more political actors and those outside the livestock activity than beneficiary farmers as such, and the moral lynching of officials is more marked.
For this reason, the Creo País Foundation has determined that it will request, that is, at its own request, the control entities to initiate inquiries or investigations so that they are the ones that determine compliance with the obligations contracted, thus closing any discussion and no longer exposing its members to media lynching and abuse of these actors.
Inaccuracies, mistakes or lies
There, he constantly emphasizes that almost $11 billion was stolen, that they had to deliver five fixed tons of fodder to each Casanare rancher, that the entire project fell to the Ranchers Committee and that the contractor practically did nothing but pocket the money. This, in addition to accusing him as if he were a criminal for acting in various contracts.
Raising the spirits of the ranchers, they forget that of the $10,800 million of the contract value, discounts are applied for withholdings, rates, taxes, taxes, stamps, insurance policies, which easily exceed $1,400 million, with only $9,400 million available until then. This, without counting the fees and parafiscal that you must assume.
From there, the contractor assumes the purchase of all the machinery, inputs, transportation, and personnel necessary for the development of the project, all of which is discriminated in the contract and its annex of technical specifications.
The contract is for the provision of services and therefore Mora assumes that it is about going to buy bales of hay anywhere in the country and distributing them to the Casanare farms. Nothing further from reality.
The name of the contract is “Adopt adequate forage production, management and conservation practices to strengthen livestock activity in the department of Casanare”, which implies a short, medium and long-term process, given its complexities.
In fact, it’s not just planting corn and grass and cutting; it also carries out the process of preparing the material in post-harvest handling to strengthen its nutritional value.
He insists that all the activities fell on each Livestock Committee, when really the ratio would be 80-20 (application of controls and labor)
He forgets or did not consult that in agricultural matters estimates are exposed and there are many environmental, climatic, soil, programming, adaptability variables that prevent giving fixed figures when it comes to production.
In fact, the contractor states that there are some complementary activities in which, without being within the scope of its obligations, it sheltered or financed.
In the same way, it states that the contractor has not complied with the object of the contract when in reality it has already complied with 100 percent of what was due to it, and despite this it continues to provide support in various aspects.
Creo País even highlights that, although the terms of reference did not establish a product brand, it is their custom to deliver the best brands and, for example, in this case the tractors and accessories are Kubota and Ideagro brands, as is the case with inputs. used agrochemicals and certified seeds.
“Obviously, it could and would be perfectly legal to deliver products of dubious reputation in terms of quality, increasing the profit margin, but, being a Casanareña entity, we never took that path,” they state from there.
How is the project
In order to link livestock producers, it was agreed that the forage production banks would be implemented through the Livestock Committees. It is taken for granted that in terms of associations that represent farmers, this is the most representative figure.
As it is large, six nuclei located in Monterrey, Aguazul, Yopal, Pore, Hato Corozal and Orocué were designed, which in turn group several nearby municipalities. In them, added together, 120 hectares of fodder corn and 120 hectares of Clone 51 grass were installed.
Each nucleus was given a complete kit for the installation of the bench, which includes an agricultural tractor, preparation harrow, polishing rake, agricultural liming machine, fertilizer planter, forage harvester, forage trailer and horse riding, Silo Press equipment, Silo Pack equipment and bags Silo Press. Elements of the best quality, the best brands and representation.
And these teams were accompanied by the necessary and optimal supplies of certified seeds and agrochemicals for the installation of crops.
As in any project, each party had to assume responsibilities. Thus, the contractor, on behalf of the Government of Casanare, had to provide these kits, sow the seed, deliver the inputs and demonstrate methods. In turn, the farmers, represented by each Livestock Committee, had to contribute the land to be used (own or leased) and carry out the application of sanitary and fertilization controls, by hiring labor.
This approach is given in this way to achieve that in the course of three years and once the adequate management of machinery, planting, harvesting and post-harvest management has been achieved, farmers have full autonomy in the management and growth of their fodder banks. .
In turn, and given the large number of ranchers, the contractor and the Committee made two calls for application and socialization, and the Committee made the final beneficiary applications. As a filter, the beneficiaries had to make contributions to the Committee to help pay the lease of the property and payment of the required wages.
Obviously, the silo achieved will be delivered with priority to those who finally made contributions, it is a matter of equity, justice and solidarity.
adjusting to change
Obeying the conditions of the land, including soil quality, presence of pests, variability of climatic cycles and others, each Committee took several months to obtain a property that was suitable for inclusion in the project, and in some cases it coincided with the entrance of summer
Likewise, all the seed of forage corn and Clone 51 grass is certified, but despite this, the management of sowing, care and harvest must be adjusted to the conditions of the environment, so the estimated production of five tons per user in a projection to be achieved in three years with the maturity of the project or fodder bank.
Additionally, the bet is for an estimated production of 35 tons every 45-60 days, since the cut is given in cycles, it cannot be expected that all the production to satisfy the demand of the users will occur at one time.
Regarding the obligations of the contractor, he has already complied with all of them, which can be considered as the first phase of the project, and the way forward is in charge of each Committee, and even more importantly, of each farmer. beneficiaries thereof.
As proof of this compliance, the executing agency has all the required reports and evidence, including the records of receipt of inputs and of each activity carried out, as well as photos and videos, audit report, supervision report, among others.
Regional Committee of Ranchers of Yopal, a pioneer
To a large extent, the conception of this project came from the management of modernization, technology transfer, optimization of production and union strengthening in which the farmers have been engaged for some time, and within which emphasis must be placed on the Regional Committee of Ranchers of Yopal.
With all its edges, the executive director of the Committee, Daniel Augusto Salamanca, explains the nature, scope, and ups and downs of an initiative of this type.
By: César Colmenares – Journalist