28 July 2017, Morroa Municipality, Cambimba village, Colombia - At Orlando Ruiz Mendes and Myriam Mercado's home. Orlando Ruiz Mendes left in 2002 with his family because of the conflict and had to sell his land and house to a speculator. He returned in 2014 while eight members of his family had been killed by the FARC.
Over 250,000 people were killed and millions displaced in Colombia's 52-year armed conflict. A peace deal was signed in Nov 2016.
The FAO-supported project - The Strategy of Local Networks for Productive Integration (2014-2017 - focused on promoting integration, reconciliation and sharing of resources. It has benefitted some 500 people - about half are returning farmers, the other half host community members.
The project enabled the setting up of a collective irrigation network, which captures and stores rainwater in an area that is dry and where access to water is essential for farming. It supported farmers in milk, coffee and honey production - providing infrastructure, equipment and training; and provided small farming tools and training in sustainable agricultural practices and creating business opportunities. FAO's project partners are Sweden and the Land Restitution Unit (Mexican Government).