Colombia is the third most populous country in Latin America, with an estimated 44 million people. While Colombia is considered a middle-income country, 21 million Colombians are poor and 6 million live below the level of extreme poverty (WFP 2012). Economic growth has been hampered by a decades-long conflict that has threatened infrastructure, displaced populations, and generated large debts.

Colombia has one of the world’s highest rates of internally displaced people; this population suffers from high levels of poverty and hunger. The average monthly income of an internally displaced family in Colombia is a little over 41 percent of the country’s official minimum wage, or about US$63 (International Committee of the Red Cross/WFP). Displaced families spend 58 percent of their monthly income on food.

Colombia’s poverty is concentrated in rural areas, where 25 percent of the country’s population lives. About 64 percent of rural women and men are classified as poor, and 29 percent of them live in extreme poverty. There are also large discrepancies in standards of living among regions. Sixty per cent of the population in the departments of Boyacá, Cauca, Chocó, Córdoba, Huila, Nariño, Sucre and Tolima are poor (IFAD). Large landholders control vast areas of underutilized land, and an estimated 2 million hectares of land belonging to small farmers and indigenous communities have been illegally occupied over the past 15 years. More than 1.3 million rural families are now landless; half are employed by large farms, while the rest are employed in non-agricultural activities such as microenterprises. In addition to a lack of land, rural households face limited access to irrigation, education, and markets.
Poverty in Colombia was complicated in late 2010 when a series of widespread floods devastated agricultural production in the country. The 2012 maize crop is expected to be 8 percent above 2011 levels, following an increase in area sown in response to production incentives provided by the Government through the “Plan País−Maíz”, the Maize Country Program, which began in 2011 (FAO/GIEWS). Despite this, however, the country remains heavily dependent on cereals imports. Maize imports are expected to remain at about 3.1 million tonnes in 2012/13 (July/June) due to increasing demand from the animal feed industry. Wheat imports are forecast at around 1.4 million tonnes in 2012/13.

Agricultural Production
Agricultural Production2013201420152016
Rice Production
FAO 2016
1,996,580 MT2,206,525 MT2,488,519 MT2,453,364 MT
Wheat Production
FAO 2016
8,346 MT6,488 MT4,567 MT2,721 MT
Maize Production
FAO 2016
1,779,069 MT1,803,039 MT1,471,026 MT1,334,826 MT
Soybean Production
FAO 2016
85,942 MT90,126 MT87,667 MT83,941 MT
Agricultural Exports
Agricultural Exports2013201420152016
Rice Exports
FAO 2016
28.00 MT14.00 MT23.00 MT1,050 MT
Wheat Exports
FAO 2016
0.00 MT MT MT MT
Maize Exports
FAO 2016
1,864 MT3,482 MT3,302 MT2,923 MT
Soybean Exports
FAO 2016
313.00 MT3.00 MT29.00 MT9.00 MT
Agricultural Imports
Agricultural Imports2010201120122013
Rice Imports
FAO 2013
6,298 MT42,563 MT115,692 MT151,646 MT
Wheat Imports
FAO 2012
1,421,719 MT1,535,088 MT1,499,607 MT1,413,789 MT
Maize Imports
FAO 2016
3,613,900 MT3,224,048 MT3,450,663 MT3,635,280 MT
Soybean Imports
FAO 2016
353,409 MT275,939 MT285,254 MT360,624 MT