Actualidad Colombia

Creation of the National Agricultural Innovation System

PL 004-2017 Senate / PL 008-2017 Chamber

A new regulation within the Special Legislative Peace Procedure has created a fast-track legislative process for new laws relating to compliance with and implementation of the Peace Deal signed by the Colombian government and the FARC. The bill is currently at its first reading, being debated in both the Senate and the Chamber (joint commissions).

The bill defines the National Agricultural Innovation System [Sistema Nacional de Innovación Agropecuaria, SNIA in the Spanish acronym], creating tools to ensure that work done in research, technology development and transfer, knowledge management, training, skills and extended activities provides meaningful support for the innovation processes needed to improve productivity, competitiveness and sustainability in the Colombian agricultural sector.

The SNIA would report to the National System for Competitiveness, Science, Technology & Innovation (SNCCTI in the Spanish acronym), and would be managed by the Ministry for Agriculture & Rural Development.

The draft regulates the SNIA in matters, among others, relating to i) its structure, ii) lines of reporting, and iii) its purpose.

In terms of its structure, the SNIA will consist of the National Agricultural Research & Development Division, the National Agricultural Extension Division and the National Training & Skills for Agricultural Innovation Division.

The draft regulation sets out that the SNIA’s lines of reporting should function according to the country’s public and private institutions’ existing systems, whether national, regional or local. Thus, the SNIA will be accountable to, among others, the SNIA’s own Senior Board and the technical committees set up by this Board, the Agricultural Science, Technology and Innovation panels set up by the Regional Competitiveness Commissions, as well as the specific Agricultural Development, Fishing, Forestry, Commercial and Rural Development Councils.

The SNIA has set itself the tasks, among others, of: i) helping to raise the country’s productivity and competitiveness; ii) promoting and implementing research, technology development and knowledge management; ii) effectively coordinating sector research and technology development, and iii) managing agricultural producers’ local, ancestral and traditional knowledge and skills in a participatory way.