09 June 2020
The agribusiness sector has shown outstanding growth in Colombia, in Foreign Direct Investment attraction, and in non-mining and non-energy exports. On all three fronts, the latest reports reveal the industry’s strong performance.

In the latest report from the National Department of Statistics (DANE, as per its Spanish acronym), the general GDP grew 1.1% in the first quarter of the year. In the same period, the agricultural sector grew 6.8%, a level of growth that hadn’t occurred since 2015. This figure is mainly explained by the increase in fishing and aquaculture (+31.5%), agricultural crops (+8.6 %), livestock (+7.1%), and forestry and wood extraction (+2.6%).


Furthermore, according to the Central Bank’s most recent figures (end of 2019), the agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing sector reached US $361 million in Foreign Direct Investment projects, 79% more than in 2018.


In addition, during the first quarter of 2020, Colombian agri-food exports totaled US $1.982 billion, with a 4% increase (+ US $70 million) compared to the same period in 2019; this figure stands out given the 9% decrease in general exports. Within this sector, bananas (+ US $35 million) and cattle (+ US $33 million) were the most outstanding.


The above figures are a reflection of a solid sector in Colombia, which, due to its importance, has continued to operate during the current circumstances due to COVID-19. In fact, it may be one of the least affected sectors, according to international trends.


Although products marketed by the HORECA channel should expect a significant contraction during periods of mandatory isolation, products marketed by the retail channel have shown positive trends.


Additionally, according to Euromonitor, food and non-alcoholic beverages will be the only spending category to see growth in 2020. As such, the most successful companies will be those that adopt a “new normal,” which includes building online relationships with their consumers, activating e-commerce and cashless payments, creating value, and focusing on the hygiene, health, and well-being of both consumers and employees.