The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding a training program to help Colombian people displaced by violence to become floriculture technicians and support the country’s burgeoning industry.
The organisation estimates over three million people have been displaced by decades of violence in Colombia, representing one of the largest of the world’s populations of people displaced within their own country.
Run in partnership with Asocolflores, Colombia’s national association of flower growers, the 18-month training program will train people to become floriculture technicians and managers.
Participants will also receive a salary, lodging and psychological support to help them adjust to their new lives, USAID said.
Asocolflores said linking the people to the country’s flower industry would help plug a vitally needed skill gap. Colombia is currently the second largest cut flower producer in the world after Holland and a lack of skilled labour has inhibited its growth.
According to USAID, many of the program’s students either begin careers with private companies upon graduation, or set up new businesses on family land reclaimed from guerrillas or militias.