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Colombia: University of Magdalena & Augura to Renew Inter-Institutional Relationship

23.11.2018

In the coming weeks it is expected that a new agreement will be signed that will benefit the banana sector of the Department in terms of training, especially for small producers.

The Rector of the University of Magdalena, Doctor Pablo Vera Salazar met with Elkin Valencia Ospina, regional director of the Banana Association of Colombia (Augura) in the presence of representatives of banana cooperatives, and took the initial steps towards the renewal of an existing inter-institutional agreement between the two entities.

The meeting was also attended by Suri Ariza Camargo as legal representative of the Association of Cooperatives of Banana del Magdalena (Asocomag), Albeiro Alfonso Cantillo, a small banana producer and a representative of the "Foncho Bananas" brand, as well as Doctor José Miguel Berdugo, President of the Magdalena Business Association.

The objective of the meeting is to continue or resume the joint work that Unimagdalena and Augura have been carrying out, including some aspects considered of great importance for both institutions which will lead to an improvement in the conditions of all the banana producers in the region.

Elkin Medina, director of Augura said that the University is the source of human capital required in banana activity.

"From our perspective we want to improve the conditions of the people where we have influence, and for this the cooperatives need to develop a program focused on this objective through scholarships. The first thing we are going to carry out is an agreement to establish a scholarship program, but additionally we will work on training issues, in catapulting the image of the small banana producer in fair trade," the executive of Augura explained.

For its part, Suri Ariza Camargo the representative of Asocomag referred to the use of the financial surplus of the cooperatives for the year 2017 to provide student scholarships mainly through the Magdalena Talent Program, where the beneficiaries will be students from the area which are registered in the database to start in 2019.

Finally, Albeiro Alfonso Cantillo, representative of the brand "Foncho Bananas" thanked the University for the support they want to offer to the national positioning of the small producers of Magdalena, to give them recognition in the country.

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