LRDP Monthly Highlights: October 2015

Land and Rural Development Program (LRDP) is a five-year task order funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights (STARR) Indefinite Quantity Contract. LRDP is intended to assist the government of Colombia to strengthen its institutional capacity to develop tools, systems, and skills that will enable it to fulfill its mandate to resolve land issues at the heart of Colombia’s decades-long internal conflict.


121 – Campesinos and 279 hectares of land benefit from irrigation system overhaul in Cesar, improving the quantity and quality of agricultural yields

USAID, through LRDP, mobilized US$480,000 of INCODER funding to rehabilitate irrigation systems in four districts in Cesar, benefitting 121 small producers who farm over 279 hectares of cassava, fruit, plantains, and corn; improving the quantity and quality of agricultural yields. LRDP conducted technical studies related to topography, cartography, system design, and budgeting; developed recommendations for the sustainability of irrigation investments; and strengthened management plans for user organizations that oversee irrigation systems in these districts. The project also defined the technical and environmental requirements for ensuring the conservation of water sources in these areas.

50% – Reduction in time it takes to process requests for legal information in support of restitution processes

USAID, through LRDP, supported the Superintendence of Notary and Registry (SNR) in the design and rollout of a new internal electronic platform that provides legal analyses of land parcels—including information about the landowner is, the legal state of the land, and whether the land is microfocalized (and thus available for restitution). This information is critical to conduct efficient and timely land restitution processes. Previously, when a GOC entity needed this type of legal study, it had to mail in a formal request to the SNR, which would then process it manually and mail it back by. With the new electronic system, the legal analysis is performed immediately, representing a 50% reduction in processing time and a 100% reduction in the time needed to access information.

USAID, through LRDP, actively supported a team of high-level GOC and international experts to design Colombia’s Misión Rural, a policy and action framework that represents the GOC’s 20-year vision for the country’s agriculture and rural development sectors, and includes the reforms outlined in the peace negotiations. The framework includes recommendations for short-, mid-, and long-term solutions that will open markets, improve land use, resolve bottlenecks, increase social inclusion, and decentralize GOC efforts. Critical LRDP inputs that were adopted include the creation of two new entities, the Land Authority and Rural Development Fund. Short-term solutions have been delivered to President Santos with recommendations for implementation using his extraordinary powers.

55 – Powers of Attorney signed, guaranteeing legal representation for secondary occupants in Montes de Maria and Cesar

Cesar and Montes de María are home to an estimated 1,049 secondary occupants—rural families who are occupying land that is legally owned by others. Many of these individuals require legal support but cannot afford or access it, and to date only 43 secondary occupants have received legal representation in these areas. In October 2015, USAID, through LRDP, supported the Ombudsman’s Office in securing 55 powers of attorney for secondary occupants in these regions, ensuring their legal representation throughout the restitution process. LRDP will continue to train public defenders on effective methods for representing secondary occupants, building the GOC’s capacity to serve more of this population in the future.

20-year – vision for Colombia’s agriculture and rural development sector, known as Mission Rural, designed with support from USAID, through LRDP


30,792 – Families with secure land tenure through land formalization and land restitution (baseline: 21,789 | 2018 goal: 32,560)*

39.3% – Project beneficiaries who are women (baseline: 38% | 2018 goal: 50%)*

2,457 – Project beneficiaries who are ethnic minorities (baseline: 0 | 2018 goal: 9,865)**

32,744 – Parcels of land analyzed for use in the Land Fund (baseline: 0 | 2018 goal: 47,000)**

48% – Increase in public agricultural investments in areas that have traditionally received low funding (baseline: US$6,206,000 in LRDP focus regions| 2018 goal: 90%)**

422 – Secondary occupants with rights represented (baseline: 0 | 2018 goal: 800)**

* Cut-off date for progress: Dec. 31, 2014. The 30,792 figure is not cumulative; it is from 2014 alone.

** Cut-off date for progress: Aug. 31, 2015

Further Reading