Colombia: Guaviare community produces quality rice
With support from the ICRC, the community of Puerto Nuevo is growing rice on five hectares of land. As well as improving their diet, the rice gives residents an extra income. The ICRC has provided seed, supplies and technical assistance with setting up a mill and building the necessary infrastructure.
Puerto Nuevo is situated on the banks of the river Guayabero, two and a half hours by fast motor boat from the department’s main city, San José del Guaviare. Rice is the main crop in this fertile area.
“It's a staple part of the diet in this community," explained Édgar Arias, president of the village’s Community Action Board. "But rice has to be milled, to remove the husks and bran before you can eat it. Previously, we had to take our rice elsewhere for milling, but now we can do it right on the spot. That's more convenient and it's cheaper. Now people are enthusiastic about sowing rice, and motivated to sow more, which guarantees food supplies for everyone in the area.”
With training from the ICRC, people here have learned how to manage rice crops efficiently. They have also learned how to set up and operate the rice mill, which is used by 350 people.
“The rice that we have milled is good quality," said Édinson Moreno, coordinator of the Puerto Nuevo Rice Association. "We're eating part of the crop ourselves, and selling the rest to nearby villages. And we mill rice for anyone else who needs it.”