Today, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo “Timochenko” Londono, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), sign a peace agreement. Crop protection company Yara International praises the deal, as this will boost the agricultural development in the country.
Yara International, with headquarters in Oslo and operations in more than 150 countries. In a press statement President & CEO of Yara Svein Tore Holsether says: “Agriculture and rural development are at the center of the peace agreement and Yara is ready to actively support the government and other stakeholders contributing to its success. We are investing more than USD 100 million in Colombia, contributing to growing productivity and prosperity in the Colombian countryside.”
Yara is a long-term investor in Colombia, and the largest foreign investor in the country in 2014 (USD 425 million). A third of the current investment is earmarked the Valle del Cauca region, one of the areas most heavily affected by the conflict and with a great potential for sustainable agricultural growth. “Commercial agriculture is an engine for inclusive economic growth, and a strong tool for building and sustaining peace worldwide,” says Holsether who in a meeting with Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos at the UN today offered Yara’s active support in driving rural value creation in the post conflict process.
The private sector has a key role in development that can create shared value and thus help bring peace and prosperity to all, according to Holsether. “I firmly believe that Yara is part of the solution to enable Colombia to produce more and better food on existing agricultural land. This is the best way to protect the 52 percent of Colombia that is covered by forest,” says Holsether. Yara will in line with its vision of a collaborative society, a world without hunger and a planet respected take an initiative to mobilise and strengthen the private sectors commitment to rural value creation in Colombia.
With the signing of the agreement, set for 5 pm local time, the FARC ceases to exist as an armed movement and becomes a political party. It is the end of a 52-year armed conflict. Many world leaders will be present at the signing of the peace agreement.