1. Assessment and recommendations

While most of the population in Colombia live in metropolitan regions (57%), the country’s share of the population living in non-metropolitan regions (hereinafter rural regions, 42.1% in 2021) is slightly higher than the OECD average (41.4%) and other OECD Latin American countries, e.g. Chile (30%) and Mexico (34.7%). This OECD regional classification allows determining the level of rurality at the regional scale to better measure socio-economic differences between different types of regions, across and within countries, and to recognise interactions and trends across different urban and rural places within them.1 According to this, most Colombian municipalities are classified as rural (88%). For Colombia, it builds on the government’s efforts of territorial categorisation at the sub-regional level.2

In the last two decades, Colombia’s population has concentrated in large metropolitan regions but population growth in rural regions is high by international standards. While large metropolitan regions (e.g. Bogotá and Valle del Aburrá, among others) register the greatest population growth in the country (57% in 2000-21), Colombian rural regions have experienced higher population growth (28%) relative to the OECD average growth of both urban (13%) and rural (6%) regions. In recent years, Colombian rural regions close/with a small city have registered similar population growth rates to metropolitan regions, which reveals that this polycentric structure maintains over time.

The majority of Colombia’s rural population is located within remote rural regions (16.9%), almost twice the level of concentration in these types of regions across the OECD (8.9%). Colombian regions with/near a small/medium-sized city make for the second greatest share of the rural population (14.2%), also above the share of OECD rural population living in these types of regions (7.8%). In contrast, the share of people living in large metropolitan regions (e.g. Bogotá) (36.3%) is still relatively lower than OECD countries (41.7%). This reveals the country’s polycentric regional structure, with regions with/near a small/medium-sized city across the territory representing an asset for regional development, given their potential to unlock differentiated growth opportunities across urban poles based on synergies with their surrounding rural areas.

Rural development policy has been historically associated with security, primary activities and social assistance (Machado, 1999[1]; UNDP, 2011[2]; World Bank, 2014[3]; DNP, 2015[4]). For many decades, the rapid urbanisation process in the country and the long internal conflict that mostly occurred in rural areas captured most of the policy agenda and priorities, preventing rural regions from mobilising their growth potential and unlocking new growth opportunities outside primary activities.

Over the last two decades, Colombia has enjoyed remarkable economic stability and growth. Colombia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew an average of 3.8% per year between 2000 and 2020, almost doubling the size of its economy (90.9% total GDP increase), about twice the total average growth of the Latin American economy (49.7%) and almost 3 times the total economic growth across of the OECD average (36.0%).

Such economic growth has helped reduce unemployment rates (from 20% in 2000 to 13% in 2021) and income inequalities across the country. Colombia registered the sixth-greatest OECD drop in regional inequality in terms of GDP per capita between 2008 and 2020. Likewise, income and multidimensional poverty in rural areas has reduced faster in rural areas (-11.8 percentage points and -19.7 pp respectively between 2010 and 2021) than in urban areas (1.8 pp and -11.4 pp respectively) (DANE, 2022[5]). Colombia’s economy has also recovered well from the COVID-19 crisis. By 2022, Colombia is expected to register the greatest GDP growth across OECD countries (OECD, 2022[6])

Despite the progress, the county still needs further efforts to better distribute economic growth and well-being across all regions. By 2020, the country still recorded the highest OECD GDP per capita gap between the richest and poorest regions, with metropolitan regions like Bogotá having almost five times the GDP per capita of rural regions like Guainía or Vaupés. Overall, rural areas register almost 3 times more multidimensional poverty (31.1% in 2021) than urban areas (11.5%) (DANE, 2022[5]).. Gaps in access to quality public services (e.g. water, education, healthcare, sanitation or broadband) and higher security levels explain such disparities in well-being.

Colombia’s rural economy has evolved from a mainly agricultural economy towards more diversified economic activities. Over the last decades, the participation of agriculture in the national economy has decreased significantly, from 14% of the GDP in 1995 to 6% in 2020, which is a common trend across OECD countries transitioning to higher income levels and diversifying in tertiary activities (OECD, 2014[7]). Indeed, between 2015 and 2021, the employment growth rate in sectors such as electricity, gas, water and waste management (9.3% annual average), professional and scientific activities (2.9%) or transport and storage (2.3%), was far above the employment growth in agriculture (0.1% annual average) (DANE, 2022[8]). By 2019, tertiary activities accounted for the largest value-added of Colombia’s rural regions. Energy and public administration activities (e.g. education and healthcare) represent the greatest source of gross value-added in rural regions (67%).

Despite this transition to service activities, agriculture is still the major employer in rural economies. This sector employs about 62% of the rural workforce, accounting for 16.4% of workers in the country (around 3.9 million people), which is above Latin American countries like Mexico (12.8%). Colombia is one of the world’s top five producers of coffee and palm oil, and one of the world’s top ten producers of sugarcane, banana, pineapple and cocoa. Agricultural products represent the second-highest export group in the country (20% of national exports in the last 4 years), after extractive industries products.3

Yet, agriculture productivity in Colombia remains below the national average and other countries in Latin America. Agricultural labour productivity was 59% below the national labour productivity in 2021, a gap that have not significantly changed since 2005 (60%).4 The low productivity in agriculture is driven by a combination of factors:

  • Some directly linked to the agricultural sector and its structure, such as an atomised agricultural production made of family farming in small land areas (65% of agricultural production units operate in less than 4 hectares), along with a lack of basic goods and services for agricultural production (70% of Colombian farms do not use machines for their production process).

  • Others related to cross-cutting challenges in rural communities, including lack of infrastructure (e.g. roads, aqueducts, sewerage), land informality or low educational attainment.

Agriculture will remain an important source of income for some rural communities and relevant to raise well-being in the country (e.g. food security). Therefore, policies to improve the productivity of this sector are strategic for rurality: they must go beyond an isolated sectoral approach and co-ordinate with other sectoral policies to solve the cross-cutting rural challenges.

Diversifying the rural economy is essential not only to improve economic resilience but also to increase the income of farmers and the rural population as a whole. As in many OECD countries, Colombian rural regions tend to be more specialised in fewer economic sectors (37.6% in terms of employees devoted to a single sector) than urban regions (24.9%). Farmers who can complement their incomes with off-farm activities are more resilient to external shocks and are more likely to meet sustainable living standards.

For example, in other OECD countries like the United States, the vast majority of farm households earn more money from off-farm employment or activities indirectly linked to the sector than they do from farming (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 2021[9]). This is due to the existence of greater opportunities for these agricultural households to access labour markets in urban areas and to create links between agriculture and other sectors (e.g. services, tourism or industry), mitigating negative effects during poor harvest seasons.

Diversified rural economies can also increase women participation in the rural economy. The proportion of women relative to men is smaller in rural regions (99) than in metropolitan regions (92), despite the country has a slightly greater proportion of women than men (95 men per 100 women). The relative share of women in rural Colombia is also below the average of rural regions across the OECD (98 men per 100 women). This phenomenon can be associated with lower opportunities for education and formal work for women in rural economies, which tend to be concentrated in care activities. In rural areas of Colombia, only 29.2% of the employed population is female, although they represent 46.8% of the rural population in working age. Overall, women account for 82% of work in the home, as well as 59% of unpaid domestic work, compared to only 18% and 41% for men, respectively.

Colombian rural regions in Colombia are a key source of well-being and growth for the country and are of great environmental importance to the world, with a number of environmental, cultural and economic assets. Table 1.1 depicts the most outstanding rural assets identified in this review.

Yet, rural regions face historic structural and cross-cutting challenges that prevent unlocking their potential and achieving greater national well-being. These challenges tend to disproportionally affect some segments of the rural population, such as youth, ethnic communities and women, and increase outmigration from rural areas. Table 1.2 depicts the main cross-cutting challenges in Colombian rural regions.

Colombia’s national policy framework can better differentiate between rural development and agricultural development, clarifying the different uses of the concepts of “agriculture”, “rurality” and “countryside”. For example, the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2022 strategy “Countryside with Progress: An alliance to boost the development and productivity of rural Colombia” aimed to develop “rural Colombia”, but five out of its seven measures focused on improving the conditions for the agricultural sector, and were the ones with clear monitoring indicators and the greatest budget.

This overlap between agriculture and rural policy also occurs across other policies. For example, the innovation policy for rural areas conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) is mainly focused on agricultural innovation. Moreover, national policies in Colombia (e.g. Pact for Entrepreneurship) do not differentiate actions among urban and rural areas, thus requiring a better territorial approach to take into account particular characteristics across rural and urban places.

MADR is the lead institution in charge of agricultural, fishing, forestry and rural development in Colombia. Flagship policies of this ministry focused on addressing the main structural problems of farmers in Colombia. They include the ongoing National Agricultural Innovation System, the Productive Alliances programme to help attain economies of scale among small farmers, the Contract Farming programme to reduce intermediaries in the sale of agricultural products and the Entrepreneurial Countryside programme to support entrepreneurship culture in the poorest rural municipalities. These programmes have increased the coverage of agricultural policy and the involvement of the private sector in the implementation.

Yet, MADR flagship programs could be strengthened with a long-term strategic vision, based on success indicators to measure medium-term results rather than coverage and on mechanisms to promote greater synergies among MADR programs and rural development programs implemented by other ministries. Likewise, the National Agricultural Innovation System still needs to be fully implemented (e.g. establishing the operational guidance and the system of monitoring).

The MADR needs to clarify its role in terms of co-ordination and design of rural policies to attain long-lasting outcomes in rural development. Despite MADR’s mandate to lead and co-ordinate rural policy, most of the ministry’s flagship and strategic programmes have focused on improving the competitiveness of the agricultural sector, with less attention to other relevant areas of rural development. Beyond the work stream on rural women, land use management and actions of the Entrepreneurial Countryside programme, most of the strategies to achieve the goals of the ministry’s 2018-2022 plan had an approach based on agriculture. For example, MADR’s rural development objectives, such as increasing public goods or improving rural incomes, primarily targeted productive agricultural projects. Clarifying the scope of the ministry in rural policy would help mobilise synergies with different policies while improving the efficiency of resources for agricultural competitiveness.

The lack of consolidated information systems has led MADR productive programmes, as well as those of other ministries, to face challenges in reaching the appropriate rural beneficiaries and avoiding duplication of actions. Moreover, this issue has nourished a passive approach in the way official productive programmes are delivered, as they tend to rely on voluntary applications, creating inequalities among rural beneficiaries. In rural ecosystems with high inequalities of information and skills, voluntary programmes risk benefitting those producers with greater administrative capacities (e.g. to fill out documents) or networks to access information.

While the government has undertaken strategies to address the rural information through different institutional actions (e.g. MADR’s National Unified Rural Agricultural Information System [SNUIRA], the Multipurpose Cadastre [Catastro Multipropósito] or My Rural Registry), all of these information programmes still need to achieve interoperability to provide integrated rural information for policy making. A bottleneck for the interoperability of rural information is the regulatory limits that government agencies face in sharing collected information in a common system. Other OECD countries have implemented socio-economic information systems at the territorial level (Chile and Italy) or created rural observatories (European Union). Chile, for example, has additionally established a commission to make the definition of rurality consistent across government levels.

Colombia already has important elements to advance towards a comprehensive policy framework for rural development. The first point of the 2016 peace agreement, the Integral Rural Reform (IRR), includes several elements of previous efforts to improve Colombian rural policy, such as the Rural Mission of 1997, the Rural Development Statute and the Rural Mission 2014. The IRR promotes a place-based approach to transform Colombian rural areas based on four main pillars: i) improving the use and access to land; ii) establishing special Development Programs with a Territorial Approach (PDETs); iii) creating 16 sectoral national plans to promote basic goods and services in rural regions; and iv) ensuring food and nutritional security.

An innovative element of the IRR is the PDET, as a planning instrument that allows the communities most affected by violence define their development objectives and provides co-ordinated government interventions with a long-term vision. Likewise, the creation of 16 sectoral national plans for rural development results in an important step to mainstream rural needs across different sectoral policies, covering several of the main priorities for rural communities around infrastructure, education, social development or labour formalisation. The implementation of these sectoral national plans needs to be accelerated and co-ordinated with other productive plans in order to bring meaningful and sustainable rural development outcomes.

Along with the IRR, Colombia has a variety of national policies relevant to rural development that need to materialise. They include the innovation plan, the cultural tourism policy, the sustainable tourism policy and transport plans multimodal along with the energy transition and mining policy. The country also has mechanisms to strengthen co-ordination with and between subnational governments, including the OCAD (Collegiate Administration and Decision-making Bodies) or the Territorial Pacts (territorial planning instruments of voluntary agreement between levels of government).

In recent years, the Colombian government has increased the investment to improve and expand transport infrastructure in the country but the level of investment will need to be sustained to close the historic rural connectivity gap. The investment in recent years (3% of GDP in 2019-21) has doubled the average trends during the last decade (1.9% in 2010-20), but it is still below average investments rates across other middle-income countries in East Asia and the Pacific (5.7%).

Particularly, while investments in primary roads have progressed, the challenge to expand and improve secondary and tertiary roads remains. Regional and municipal governments are mainly responsible for these roads but many lack financial and human capacity, which leads to transport infrastructure projects without technical criteria and low-quality solutions. Moreover, information on the number of tertiary roads remains scarce, partially due to the lack of clear protocols for updating this type of information and of a centralised database for these roads, coupled with low subnational government capacity to collect and provide complete information on the roads under their responsibility.

The national government needs to help advance some of the projects on secondary and tertiary roads. To this end, the government can accelerate the Colombia Rural project by ensuring sustained and diversified funding (e.g. with Work for Taxes scheme, royalties) and going beyond the voluntary applications approach to actively reach poor municipalities with co-financing solutions. Colombia’s diverse and difficult geography also requires accelerating the development of other modes of transport (railway and fluvial) to free up space on roads and improve the mobility of people and goods. For this, the country needs to advance the implementation of the Intermodal Transport Master Plan (PMTI). Moreover, strengthening the regional transport secretaries as well as redirecting existing maintenance co-operatives across the country to work on tertiary and rural roads can play a decisive role in improving the quality of tertiary roads.

Closing existing connectivity gaps is not without its challenges. Network deployment in Colombia is hampered in some rural areas due to difficult geographical conditions, sparse settlement patterns, unstable electricity supply or insufficient access to rights of way. In these areas, network maintenance is also difficult. People and businesses can only participate in the digital transformation if they are connected, which is why closing broadband connectivity divides in rural areas is indispensable

The Colombian government has put in place important initiatives over the years to extend and improve broadband connectivity in rural areas, including co-funding a fibre backbone (Azteca network) and developing programmes to deploy free public broadband access points in rural areas (Zonas Digitales and the Centros Digitales). However, these programmes need to be carefully reviewed to improve their impact. The Azteca fibre network, for example, only reaches the centre of municipalities, with no coverage in the closer surroundings and the last-mile, leaving many households and businesses unconnected. The programmes of free public broadband access have faced major continuity challenges and lacked territorial prioritisation (e.g. the 5 regions with the lowest share of connected homes were not included in the first phase of the initiative that built out the Zonas Digitales). Importantly, these programmes are not a substitute to connect businesses and people directly through fixed and mobile broadband subscriptions. Reliable high-quality connectivity is needed to ensure that rural communities can benefit from access to advanced digital services (e.g. telemedicine) or new technologies (e.g drones, 3D printers, artificial intelligence). Community networks and small operators have also an important role to play to increase broadband access in rural areas.

In Colombia, subnational governments should lower barriers imposed locally to deploy communication infrastructure. Some of these barriers include the lack of clarity regarding land-use restrictions or requests for additional approval procedures. Moreover, Colombia should spur competition in the mobile communication services market, given the dominance of one actor in this market (Claro), and further recognise that mobile coverage increasingly requires extensive fibre deployment. Especially with respect to 5G deployment at national level, it is indispensable to deploy fibre deeper into mobile backbone networks and to lay fibre to mobile cells in order to offload mobile traffic into fixed networks. Furthermore, the country should promote more flexibility for experimentation in rural areas. Finally, overall taxation and sectoral fees should be revised and lowered, to the extent possible, as they are comparatively high relative to other OECD countries and can hamper a broad adoption of communication services.

Colombia has progressed in the provision of education and health in rural areas, especially when it comes to coverage of primary services. This has also been the case of other services such as water and electricity, which have experienced important progress over the last years. Moreover, the government has issued sectorial national policies on education, healthcare, electricity or water, with a particular rural focus.

However, urban-rural disparities remain high, with the provision of quality rural education and healthcare facing barriers in terms of infrastructure and skill attraction. National plans to improve rural service delivery are in the right direction but need to be accelerated, with sufficient financial and human capacity and a more comprehensive approach. Infrastructural barriers (e.g. medical centres and schools that are underequipped or with limited electricity and broadband access) contribute to lower access to education and healthcare in rural areas. This is coupled with the lack of transport services and infrastructure that affects accessibility of many students, patients, teachers or nurses. Moreover, violence and lack of incentives hamper the attraction and retention of skilled service professionals. For example, several rural schools operate under the modality of single-teacher organisation in a multi-grade classroom, with educators in rural areas having lower levels of education than in urban.

Despite the official programmes to improve access to education (e.g. Special Plan for Rural Education [PEER] or Todos a aprender programme), education policies and initiatives have relevant areas for improvement. The rural focus in education strategies and policies is still limited, partly due to the centralisation of decision-making, the weak alignment to local contexts and the low involvement of local actors in policy design and implementation. Moreover, the country needs to better link the academic offer with the needs of rural economies and clarify communication and co-ordination for educational strategies to use digitalisation as a partner for education provision.

In terms of rural health, the government has expanded the coverage of the subsidiary regimen throughout the population and designed the National Rural Health Plan (NRHP) (2021-31). These efforts need to be reinforced by increasing flexibility in healthcare services (e.g. mobile health units or rural health promoters), better tailoring national health policies to rural characteristics (e.g. in terms of payment capacity of rural communities) and accelerating the adoption of telemedicine. Moreover, co-operation of health programmes with other policies and areas is essential to attain economies of scale and ensure better healthcare quality, especially in primary health and prevention programmes. For example, the implementation of the NRHP can be better co-ordinated with education policies, particularly the Special Admissions Programme (PAES), and infrastructure projects in sanitation.

The National Development Plan and the IRR contain important diagnostics and pathways for tenure security and the reduction of conflicts in the countryside. Land restitution and distribution policies are fundamental to addressing the high levels of rural poverty, violence and deforestation in the country. The policy of adjudication of untitled public lands (baldíos) is a key instrument that has to be accompanied by the facilitation of land formalisation. These land policies cannot be seen as an isolated strategy for rural well-being, and their success relies on complementarities with other rural policies (e.g. infrastructure, access to services and support to support to the productive reconversion of land).

However, land distribution, restitution and formalisation policies and, in general, the implementation of the pillar of access to land in the RRI face important challenges to advance at greater speed. There is a pressing need to improve levels of information on the status and quality of lands, and efforts to solve conflicts arising from informal occupation. For example, the government does not know the share of its untitled public land (baldíos) and its occupation status, which is meant to be distributed in the land adjudication process. Because of that, the constitution of the Land Fund has remained incomplete. The Catastro Multipropósito can be a powerful tool to provide the right information on land parcels and thus contribute to land formalisation and distribution processes but its implementation needs to be strengthened.

Unresolved issues in land constitution for ethnic groups and lack of clarity on territorial autonomy create socio-territorial conflicts and hamper co-operation among local actors to attain common development goals. Colombia, as a multi-ethnic, multicultural social state of law, is committed to protecting Indigenous, Roma and Afro-Colombian communities (1991 constitution). While the programmes that allow registered Indigenous reserves to execute their own resources (e.g. in education, healthcare and sanitation) have been clarified and are an important step towards autonomy, the issue of Indigenous Territorial Entities is yet to be fully addressed in the legal framework. Moreover, the process of constitution and enlarging of Indigenous reserves and Afro-Colombian territories is considered to be opaque and slow. The reallocation of occupants of ancestral lands, the lack of binding agreements to settle land claims in definitive and the issues in land information (e.g. availability of untitled public lands) are structural problems affecting land constitution processes.

Deforestation, illegal mining and timber extraction create socio-territorial conflicts and push Colombia away from climate change mitigation efforts. Seventy-one percent of protected natural areas in Colombia are linked to ethnic groups and 99% of Indigenous lands capture more carbon than they emit. Incentivising a widespread use of payment for ecosystem services (PES) can generate economic opportunities in rural areas while ensuring an adequate level of environmental protection. Socialising the advantages of PES and simplifying their adoption may generate stronger adoption for nature conservation. Government has also the scope to leverage traditional land management practices of Indigenous groups and Afro-Colombian populations to preserve biodiversity, water resources and soil quality. Such practices can be associated with income-generation opportunities to alleviate poverty levels and foster Indigenous development.

Colombia has vast experience in designing rural development policies and plans, but it faces important challenges in their implementation due to co-ordination issues and changes in political priorities. Colombia’s sectoral approach to rural development currently consists of independent actions taken in different ministries, with each ministry designing and implementing rural-related policies (tourism, mining) without consulting MADR or any other co-ordinating body. While seven sectoral bodies of advisory and co-ordination intend to support the co-ordinating role of MADR (e.g. National Council for Agrarian Reform and Peasant Rural Development or Superior Council for Land Restitution Management), these committees have little convening power and lack binding participation. In addition, there is no clear mechanism in Colombia to co-ordinate and integrate the 16 sectoral national plans of the IRR or promote synergies with other policy domains (e.g. entrepreneurship national policy).

This lack of co-ordination is also evident across government agencies in charge of implementing rural programmes (e.g. Agency for Rural Development, Agrosavia), which struggle to co-ordinate interventions at the subnational level amongst themselves or with non-governmental organisations. Moreover, co-ordination is needed to address fragmentation and duplication of spatial planning instruments and enact these instruments where there are redeemed as necessary. There is a variety of spatial planning instruments at different scales (e.g. Rural, Economic and Social Development Zones [Zidres], Peasant Reserve Zones or PDETs) but without a public policy to co-ordinate their implementation and promote a common vision of development. Co-ordinating these spatial plans is important, for example to enable lands that have been distributed, returned and formalised to be put to their best use, be it agricultural, environmental or community-oriented.

To overcome these issues, Colombia would benefit from an inter-ministerial mechanism or institution that co-ordinates the comprehensive and inter-sectoral rural policy with the policies relevant to rural development and ensure policy implementation beyond political cycles. Chile’s Inter-ministerial Commission for City, Housing and Territory or Finland’s Rural Policy Council can guide Colombia in the development of an inter-ministerial co-ordinating structure on rural policy. Accountability from non-governmental actors is crucial to ensure the co-ordination of this inter-ministerial structure works in the long term. To this end, other OECD countries have involved non-governmental actors within the inter-ministerial co-ordinating mechanisms (e.g. Finland, Ireland) or created an advisory council from civil society to guide and monitor the implementation of the national rural policy (e.g. Chile)

Colombia’s subnational governments (SNGs) are the main providers of public services (e.g. education represents 31% of the total subnational government budget). However, rural SNGs have a shortage of qualified staff and a low capacity for effective policy co-ordination of national programmes. According to the National Planning Department (DNP) index of subnational government performance, regional governments with a higher level of rurality present greater difficulties in planning and implementing policies. Furthermore, despite the relevance of responsibilities at the local level, they have limited authority over how expenses are allocated since most subnational taxes and transfers are earmarked.

Other OECD countries (e.g. Mexico) have incentivised local government capacity through greater use of certification strategies (e.g. public rankings of regional performance), or partnerships with universities to boost staff. Governments associations around simple projects to improve planning capacity and gain scale in investments should receive greater focus due to the polycentric territorial of Colombia. Yet, the structures and incentives to create partnerships among rural and urban municipalities and conduct joint projects are still unclear in the national policy framework. Moreover, Colombia’s Decentralisation Mission will be key to defining actions that improve the capacity of local governments.

Indicators of citizen participation in policy formation reveal that regions with a higher degree of rurality still face greater difficulty in integrating citizens into the policy-making process. While this can be explained by the communication challenges in some regions and the reduced staff capacity in rural governments to promote participation mechanisms, it also reveals a lack of incentives, trust and capacities in the communities to demand their participation in the definition of policies and monitor their implementation.

Building community capital in Colombia is the first step to making rural communities effective partners in local economic development. It requires supporting businesses and social initiatives and promoting their participation in public planning, investment or monitoring activities (e.g. participatory budgeting). Moreover, the fragmentation of productive and social programmes delivered to rural communities makes it difficult for beneficiaries to identify the most suitable programme and connect with the right agency. Simplifying the access to national and regional programmes for rural beneficiaries (e.g. regional one-stop-shop offices of national programmes) can ease civil society’s accountability to and involvement with rural policy.


[12] Ariza, F. (2022), “Distribución de la propiedad rural en Colombia en el siglo XXI”, Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural, Vol. 60/4, https://doi.org/10.1590/1806-9479.2021.242402.

[8] DANE (2022), Gran Encuesta Integrada de Hogares, Población ocupada según su actividad económica y por cuenta propia, https://www.dane.gov.co/index.php/estadisticas-por-tema/mercado-laboral/empleo-y-desempleo (accesed on October 2022).

[5] DANE (2022), Pobreza y desigualdad, https://www.dane.gov.co/index.php/estadisticas-por-tema/pobreza-y-condiciones-de-vida/pobreza-multidimensional.

[4] DNP (2015), El Campo Colombiano: Un Camino Hacia El Bienestar y La Paz, Misión para la Transformación del Campo, https://www.dnp.gov.co/programas/agricultura/Paginas/Informe-misi%C3%B3n-FInal.aspx.

[10] FAAE (2020), LA importancia de la biodiversidad, https://www.faae.org.co/colombiabiodiversa/biodiversidad-en-colombia.html#:~:text=Colombia%20es%20un%20pa%C3%ADs%20con,de%20mam%C3%ADferos%20(471%20especies).

[9] Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (2021), Investing in Rural Prosperity, https://www.stlouisfed.org/-/media/project/frbstl/stlouisfed/files/pdfs/community-development/investing-rural/investinginruralprosperity-book.pdf.

[1] Machado, A. (1999), “El sector rural y el plan de desarrollo”, Cuadernos de Economía, Vol. 18/30, pp. 167-179, http://file:///C:/Users/Sanabria_a/Downloads/Dialnet-ElSectorRuralYElPlanDeDesarrollo-4934918.pdf.

[15] OECD (2022), National Urban Policy Review of Colombia, OECD Urban Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9ca1caae-en.

[6] OECD (2022), OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2022 Issue 1, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/62d0ca31-en.

[14] OECD (2022), OECD Economic Surveys: Colombia 2022, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/04bf9377-en.

[7] OECD (2014), OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Chile 2014, OECD Rural Policy Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264222892-en.

[16] OECD/EC (2020), Cities in the World: A New Perspective on Urbanisation, OECD Urban Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/d0efcbda-en.

[17] Parra-Peña, R., R. Puyana and F. Yepes (2021), Análisis de la productividad del sector agropecuario en Colombia y su impacto en temas como: encadenamientos productivos, sostenibilidad e internacionalización, en el marco del programa Colombia más competitiva, Bogotá: Fedesarrollo, http://hdl.handle.net/11445/4092.

[2] UNDP (2011), Colombia rural Razones para la esperanza, Informe Nacional de Desarrollo Humano 2011, United Nations Development Programme.

[13] UPRA (2020), Informalidad de la tenencia de la tierra en Colombia, https://www.upra.gov.co/documents/10184/104284/01_informalidad_tenencias_tierras (accesed on October 2022).

[11] UPRA (2018), Análisis de distribución de la propiedad rural en Colombia. Resultados 2018, https://www.upra.gov.co/en/Publicaciones/Distribucion_2018.pdf.

[3] World Bank (2014), Colombia Policy Notes: Toward Sustainable Peace, Poverty Eradication and Shared Prosperity, World Bank, Washington, DC.


← 1. The OECD regional classification identifies non-metropolitan Colombian regions (provinces in Colombia) based on density, population thresholds and their level of accessibility to cities (understood as functional urban areas or FUAs). This classification identifies two levels of geographic units within OECD countries: i) large regions (TL2), which represent the first administrative tier of subnational government that in the case of Colombia is departments; and ii) small regions (TL3), which are provinces in the case of Colombia. Rural regions can include towns and small cities that do not belong to an FUA. Both levels of regions encompass the entire national territory.

← 2. According to OECD classification, the share of Colombian population in rural regions is above the share reported by national classifications that are conducted at the municipal level: 30.4% of rural population in 2021 according to the Mission for the Transformation of the Countryside and 24% according to DANE’s statistical definition. In addition to this OECD regional classification, the OECD also uses a granular territorial methodology to classify local units into cities, towns/semi-dense areas and rural areas: the degree of urbanisation, which was endorsed at the 2020 Statistical Commission of the United Nations (OECD/EC, 2020[16]). The recent OECD National Urban Review of Colombia (2022[15]) used the former classification. Instead, this OECD Rural Review of Colombia uses the regional classification to determine the level of rurality at the regional scale to better recognise interactions and trends across different types of regions in Colombia and urban and rural places within them.

← 3. According to World Trade Organization product groups, based on Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) aggregation.

← 4. Labour productivity is calculated as the value-added of the sector per worker. Other most complete measure of productivity, the total factor productivity (TFP), also reveals that the growth of Colombian agricultural productivity (0.6% between 2001 and 2016) is below the average of Latin American countries (1.8%) (Parra-Peña, Puyana and Yepes, 2021[17])

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