Antimicrobial Resistance

1,400 pig producers in Colombia trained to reduce the need for antimicrobial and prevent AMR


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) concerns not only human health, but also the agricultural sector, since many of the antimicrobials used to treat animal infections are similar or identical to those used in human medicine. The Colombian Association of Pig Farmers (Porkcolombia), representing the country’s pig producers, has developed an innovative strategy to address AMR. They do that throughout the production chain, supported by research, technical management, inter-industry alliances and international cooperation. As part of this initiative, over the past five years, more than 1,400 Colombian pork producers have been trained to use veterinary drugs responsibly - a key in the prevention of AMR.    

“Since 2015, multiple studies have been conducted in the country to determine the antimicrobial resistance in pork production and mechanisms to manage it. For example, we have completed many projects involving collaboration between the public and private sector to raise awareness of the use of antimicrobials in the pork industry and to strengthen laboratory diagnosis, as tools to mitigate the spread of AMR. We have also provided guidance and training on colostrum management, good sanitary practices, and other on-farm interventions that reduce the need for antimicrobials,” said Corina Zambrano, Vice President of Porkcolombia.

Porkcolombia has fostered strong alliances with government, academic entities, and international organizations, serving as a mediator for joint action plans. This allowed the pork sector to develop a roadmap to optimize resources and mitigate the risks of the spread of AMR. 

“For example, we have been working with the Danish government in the fight against AMR. The first project provided safer pork products to national consumers and contributed to the growth of the country's pig industry by meeting food safety requirements to access foreign markets. We did that by implementing pathogen control interventions for salmonella,” said Marcela Rodríguez, Technical Director of Porkcolombia.

From last year, Porkcolombia has been working with the International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions (ICARS) to develop strategies to reduce AMR through research, awareness and training. The projects will be developed over the next three years together with private sector, researchers and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Colombian Agricultural Institute.

Corina Zambrano mentions that in the AMR fight, it is necessary to make strategic public-private alliances with national and international organizations. “Partnerships facilitate the exchange of knowledge, which is crucial for success in the country. Strategies to control AMR must be adapted to the specific stakeholders using the appropriate methods of communication and be respective of the available resources in each production system. Plans should include short, medium and long-term objectives and steps that will lead to better practices,” added C. Zambrano. 

Colombia is one of the countries participating in the FAO project “Action to support implementation of Codex AMR Texts (ACT)”, supported by the Republic of Korea. FAO helps to apply the Codex standards globally and locally, especially those related to the containment and reduction of foodborne AMR and monitoring and surveillance of antimicrobial use and resistance. The project works with different stakeholders, including the private sector. 

“This is one of the examples of how things can be successful when multiple partners work together in managing AMR and producing safe food.  The participation of industry is key. During the ACT assessment workshop in Colombia, the private sector expressed big interest in participating in this new FAO project and reinforced their commitment to continuing the collaboration to address AMR issues,” said María de los Ángeles Gatica, ACT project coordinator in Latin America. 

By improving access to international markets and protecting consumers against the risks of AMR, the FAO ACT project will contribute to more inclusive, safe and efficient food systems. 


More about the ACT project: Implementation of Codex standards to support containment and reduction of foodborne antimicrobial resistance (AMR) (GCP/GLO/505/ROK) | Antimicrobial Resistance | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ( 

More about Porkcolombia: Porkcolombia – Fondo nacional de la porcicultura 

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