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ACT/ Colombia workshop recognizes progress made on combatting AMR


On 8 March 2024, a monitoring workshop took place in Bogota, Colombia, to evaluate progress on addressing the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the food and agriculture sectors in the country. 

The meeting was organized as part of the FAO-implemented and Republic of Korea-funded Action to support implementation of Codex AMR texts (ACT) project. Attendees were assessing improvements made since the start of the ACT project in 2021, and on the specific commitments made to combat the AMR threat.

The ACT project promotes a One Health approach to addressing the threat of AMR and since its inception in Colombia, regular cross-sectoral meetings have been held to discuss progress made in the country and to define strategies that will promote four specific action areas, which include:

  • strengthening awareness about AMR and the relevant Codex texts
  • developing capacities for monitoring and surveillance of AMR and antimicrobial use
  • strengthening AMR governance
  • promoting the responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials throughout the food and agriculture sector.

Representatives from across the country's food and agriculture sectors took part in the March meeting, including representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and its affiliated entities, and the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), as the country's counterpart for the ACT project. In addition, representatives of the private sector attended, with representation from the poultry, swine and livestock unions and the National Association of Colombian Businessmen through the Chamber of Animal Feed and the National Association of Veterinary Products Laboratories.

At the workshop it was noted that the project has achieved significant progress on addressing AMR in Colombia and since the inception of the project, advancements have been made in 27 of the 46 activities previously identified as necessary for progress. By identifying key actors in the food and agriculture systems that develop actions in AMR and antimicrobial use (AMU), subgroups have been defined with focal points in each sector, which will allow a specific scope of the project activities.  An ICA survey assessing awareness on AMR in the country has been conducted and the ACT project will analyze results to inform awareness raising activities going forward. Those results will also inform training content for professionals and producers, which will complement the inventory of existing training courses on AMR that has been compiled. The ICA is also consolidating a document that illustrates the routes and flows of the use, sale and disposal of antimicrobials in priority sectors of animal production. This document will be ready by the second week of April 2024. Progress has also been made in consolidating information required for the launch of an operational epidemiological unit dedicated to AMR (and AMU), which will be carried out in the month of July of this year, and a pilot for end-user monitoring of AMU will be carried out with a dairy cooperative that has coverage at the country level.

Uriel Sierra, Deputy Manager of Analysis and Diagnosis at the ICA and the project’s national focal point summarized the workshop successes and referred to national commitments to preventing and controlling AMR. “One of these commitments refers to the surveillance of the use of antimicrobials, in which the project focal point highlighted … the possibility of developing a pilot project for the collection of data of AMU by end users in priority sectors,” he said. This pilot project will have significant value as collection of such data is challenging. “Considering that we have the support of the ACT project, progress has been made to implement the pilot on  bovine milk production farms, with a dairy cooperative called COLANTA, which groups milk producers from all over the country.”

Challenges were also identified, which include coordinating work to accommodate an intersectoral, multi-entity approach, particularly in relation to a national roundtable on AMR. According to Ana Carrizosa, ACT project coordinator, “the structure, mission and volume of work of each entity does not allow progress at the desired pace. The AMR intersectoral roundtable has not yet been made official, but it is an important and fundamental governance space to advance intersectoral articulation”, she says. “Gaps were identified in the definition of the operating mechanisms of this intersectoral roundtable for AMR, therefore, the ACT project, this year, will support the country in the collective construction of a regulation that facilitates its operation.”

Under the ACT project in Colombia, a number of activities have been organized to raise awareness about foodborne AMR, especially in connection with World Food Safety Day (7 June) and World AMR Awareness Week (18–24 November). In addition, the country has been involved in evaluating the degree to which the Codex texts on AMR have been implemented, including their incorporation into national legislation and policies.

During 2023, six monitoring meetings were held in Colombia, and this year monitoring will continue through bimonthly meetings.

Read more

The ACT Project (
ACT in Colombia (pdf)


Photo ©FAO/Andrés Bolaños