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Government and FAO agree to Boost Production of Indigenous in Panama


Keith Woolford
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Government and FAO agree to Boost Production of Indigenous in Panama

 

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The Panamanian government and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations signed an agreement on Thursday to provide technical assistance and improve the production systems of a dozen indigenous communities in the country.

"The objective of this treaty is to improve the indicators of production and productivity of these peoples and help them to produce not only for self consumption but also for the market," said regional coordinator for Mesoamerica of the international organization Tito Díaz.

The regional leader stated that indigenous peoples have lived almost always isolated from the rural world and have developed their own production methods, "which are important and have been maintained over the years, but with small technological contributions they can take a big qualitative and quantitative step".

"Improved cropping practices can increase yields up to two or three times," said the FAO Regional Coordinator.

In Panama there are about 400,000 indigenous people, who represent about 11% of the total population and are grouped into 7 ethnic groups: Emberá, Wounaán, Kuna, Ngäbe, Buglé, Naso and Bri-Bri.

Although Panama has led in recent years the economic growth of the region with rates close to 6%, the country suffers from great inequalities.

"This project is part of the National Plan of the Indigenous Peoples of Panama developed through an important participatory process where the seven indigenous peoples of the country were represented," said the minister of government, María Luisa Romero.

Panama is one of the few Latin American countries that have not yet signed the Convention 169, which was approved by the International Labor Organization in 1989 and is considered the main international treaty on the human rights of indigenous peoples.

Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela has promised that before ending his term in 2019 he will sign the agreement, since it is one of the main demands of the Panamanian indigenous movements.

http://www.panamatoday.com/panama/government-and-fao-agree-boost-production-indigenous-panama-5354

Edited by Keith Woolford
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