According to a sample composed of 100% of the population living in private homes in the urban and rural areas of the 12 municipalities in the south of Cesar Province, the river bank area of the province presents the greatest proportion of families who consume insufficient calories and micronutrients.
According to Zulma Fonseca, a nutritional epidemiologist for Obsan and a member of the investigation team for the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF is the Spanish acronym.), the study carried out in the municipalities of San Martin, San Alberto, La Gloria, Tamalameque, Astrea, Pailitas, Chimichagua, Gamarra, Rio de Oro, González, Aguachica and Pelaya shows that "most of the money that comes into the homes (60%) is spent just for food and there is practically no possibility for savings or investment. In spite of that, more than half of the families in the region (52%) are not able to consume the calories necessary for nutritional requirements and because of that, they suffer chronic hunger."
According to the study, the majority of these people eat bananas, rice, chocolate, panela (unrefined cane sugar), crackers, Bienestarina (a fortified flour), chicken, meat and fish, and in smaller quantities, vegetables. Fruit, almost never.
At the same time, most of the municipalities live below the lines of poverty and indigence. In the case of San Martin, for example, 84.2% of the 18,000 residents live below the line of indigence, while 84.6% live below the poverty line. In the municipality of La Gloria, 78.4% live below the line of indigence and 74.3% live below the poverty line.
These results reflect a depressing panorama but they can be a stimulus for the development of the Regional Conference of Associations and Fishing Communities in the Riverbank Area of Cesar Province. This event is being organized by the Obusinga Corporation and the National University of Colombia, through the Observers of Food Security and Nutrition (Obsan).
The conference known as "The Children of the Water Mother" seeks to draw together the ties of identity and friendship between the fishing families of the region and increase the capacity of the fishing organizations to confront their current problems in their work and improve their form and quality of life.
Within the framework of this event, the proposal known as Foods Sealed by Farmers will be launched. It synthesizes the model of farmers producing their own food and food and nutritional security, a model that has been proposed for some time in the region.
The meeting and the launching of the proposal will take place in the Main Hall of the Cerveleon Padilla Lascarro Secondary School in Chimichagua, on the banks of the Zapatosa Marsh (Cesar Province) on November 12 and 13 of this year.
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