This gift in action
Twice a month in ten public parks across Colombia's capital Bogotá, Mercados Campesinos (farmers' markets) are helping to increase producers' incomes and provide fresh food for poorer urban communities where malnutrition is an issue.
Oxfam has been supporting these markets, and the variety of goods now on sale include: fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy produce, sweets, jams and honey, through to toys, souvenirs and flowers.
The markets have even been adopted by the city as part of its food security plan, enabling people to get good food at around 15 per cent less than in the shops. A fact underlined by Bogotá resident Elena De Arvale: "We always come to this market. The produce is cheaper and better quality. We know about the Mayor's office being involved, how they're trying to make things affordable and more accessible."
While for the 2000 small-scale farmers in the surrounding regions, they earn over 50 per cent more for their produce.
The benefits are not just financial, either. Producers' organisations are now exerting their influence on local agricultural policy. And women are playing a greater role in the production and selling, and having a bigger say within their communities.
And the markets' popularity is growing, a fact underlined by one municipal co-ordinator, Marcelino Fonseca: "Previously farmers couldn't afford a lorry to come to the city. Now our producer groups bring 80 people in three lorries."