Actualidad Colombia

Creation of ZIDRES

Law Nº 1776, 29th January 2016

The Colombian parliament has published the law creating Zones of Interest for Rural, Economic and Social Development (known by their Spanish acronym as “ZIDRES”). These are territories considered to be of interest for farming by the rural planning unit, Unidad de Planificación Agropecuaria Rural, on the basis of rural development plans.

As we mentioned in Progreso 4 when describing the bill put to parliament, the ZIDRES must be at a substantial distance from larger towns, require high investment to get into production, be in an area of low population density and high poverty indices or lack minimal infrastructure for the transport and sale of produce.

The ZIDRES are intended to act as a new model of regional economic development, by promoting:

(i) access and regularisation of the farmers ownership rights to the land;

(ii) inclusion of peasants, rural women, farm workers and others into the social and productive fabric of their environments;

(iii) development of infrastructure;

(iv) social and environmental responsibility among businesses;

(v)  food production.

Production projects carried out in the ZIDRES must be suitable for achieving these goals and helping to internationalise the economy. Studies must be made into their feasibility and there must be agreements with the owners or holders of the lands where they are located. They must comply with all the elements of the law.

The projects must be filed with the Ministry for Agriculture & Rural Development.

The search for economic development in these regions now known as ZIDRES, will encourage farmers to create small-scale production units that can improve the quality of life for the local communities. It is also an opportunity for microfinance entities, which can provide the financial muscle to develop regions only too often left on the side-lines of the country’s key business and economic activities.