What is it really like to be a family farmer from a developing country – Part 1

2014 was named as the year of family farming by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in order to draw attention to this practice and its potential for contributing to food security.

Enlight362

This is my friend Cristela. She lives in a small rural village called Guasca just two hours away from Bogotá – Colombia’s capital. This is where Carlos Bejarano, the young organic farmer I introduced you to, also farms.

I always have trouble understanding certain concepts unless I can picture them vividly in my mind. I learn best when I can touch ideas, see them, listen to them or better yet, befriend them.

Cristela is a real family farmer. Finally, theory in practice! As I introduced her in this video 0:20-1:16, she is the head of her household which means that she is responsible for the economic livelihood of her family unit – including her father whom she takes care of.

I first met her when I began researching about the quinoa crop back in early 2013 with Engineers Without Borders Colombia or Ingenieros Sin Fronteras Colombia (ISFCOL) and we became friends ever since. When I told her I was leaving to do my graduate studies abroad, we agreed to record her opinions as a family farmer from a developing country.

I’ve translated the next series of posts from Spanish. They contain the most relevant challenges and advantages she faces as a family farmer in Colombia. She was very kind and generous to gift me her time and welcome me into her home for a whole afternoon. The interview was conducted on August 27th, 2014 and is delivered in 5 instalments.

9:50 a.m. Cristela and I meet in the rain while I walk on the rural path that leads to her house.

She steps outside and greets me with a warm smile. She welcomes me into her beautiful big house built inside her farm area. She has one of the most picturesque and healthiest farms in the village.

Ángela Delcast: Do you remember that last year the FAO announced ‘2013 the International year of Quinoa’? Well this year the FAO has announced ‘2014 the International year of household agriculture’. You’re on trend! You see, you are very trendy, you’re always on trend.

Cristela giggles. Cristela and I have known each other for 18 months.

ÁD: So for how long have you been a family farmer.

C: For three years. For a bit over three years.

Click here to read part 2

Click here to read part 3

Click here to read part 4

Click here to read part 5

6 thoughts on “What is it really like to be a family farmer from a developing country – Part 1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s