We celebrate the coming to Huila’s figure mediatica perhaps most emblematic of our land: Juan Valdes. And we celebrate it because the represents deep Colombia, positive Colombia, enterprising Colombia, the real Colombia, the Colombia that is not fazed and still working in the homeland mountains, carving out our future. Juan Valdes represents this successful coffee that has managed to succeed points of perseverance, native ingenuity and hard work. I have had the privilege to feel pride in the fatherland feels any Colombian living abroad when foreign nationals identified that coffee farmer with the tenacity of the Colombian farmer. President Santos in his campaign said that each Colombian peasant should be as Juan Valdes. This tremendous proposal, as Juan Valdes is something as well as the ideal of every worker of agriculture: owner of the land where works, in complete harmony with the environment, inserted in a strong productive chain, with permanent access to credit and technical assistance, Achiever entrepreneur of their tax obligations, giving formal employment to well-paid peasant, father of young well trained rural women who yearn to stay in the rural sector and not go to swell the population without opportunities for big cities, member associations with good bargaining power and good penetration into international markets, user of technologies and practitioner of the most sublime principles and values.
And after seeing it that way then we can repeat: go challenge the President! We are certainly very far that our coffee growers and our peasants in general are under these conditions because it is a secret that the crosses by a suffocating crisis sector no. Although it is highlighting the interest of the last two Governments to promote the revitalization and rural development, agricultural GDP has been less than the GDP of the country every year since 2003. This year he is going to repeat that story to high food prices had created other expectations. The farmers are highly indebted and all factors negatives that have hit the field in the last five years (winter, summer, pyramids, high cost of inputs, pests, phytosanitary problems, global warming, etc, etc) has become today in a situation of inability to pay their debts, reason why solution must begin with the creation and implementation underway for an aggressive program similar to the Pran who solve the financial problem of our farmers and to oxygenate the sector againfollowed by rethinking esctructural sector departing from the productive system of the territory and to orient to the obtaining of goals achievable, realistic, and measurable as the protection of domestic production in an environment exposed to external distortions, modernization of the field, strengthening of marketing processes, expansion of markets, promotion of productivity and the competitiveness of the sector, the reduction of inequality in the agricultural sector, the corporatization of the sector, the corporatization of the Colombian countryside, in concordance with the domestic agenda of productivity and competitiveness, exporting commitment of the Ministry of agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and in coordination with the institutions of the territorial agenda; the improvement of technical assistance, development and technology transfer, the culture of good farming and livestock practices, the Associativity between producers, the suitability of lands and irrigation and drainage infrastructure, and promotion of the conversion. We believe in the good intentions of the Santos Government and will continue with the hope that someday, although not in this constitutional period, can see a Juan Valdes, at least in the majority of our peasants.