>> After a peace accord between the Columbian Government and Marxist rebels in 2016 ended a five decade war, Columbia is now looking to revive one of its most important industries, coffee. Thousands of coffee farmers who fled their lands due to violence now slowly returning. Hoping the fertile soil of the Andes mountains will once again cultivate high quality beans known the world over for their smooth taste and rich aroma.
But the process won't be easy, says Reuters reporter Marcy Nicholson, who just returned from the Andean region of San Carlos.>> Many of these coffee farmers fled for their lives during the height of the violence around 2000. The farmers I met had all lost family members over the years.
This one farmer who I spoke to just in 2015, there was a decapitated body not far from his farm. Now he says that's the last sign of violence that he's seen, but they're very cautious.>> The conflict between the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC and the Colombian government, killing at least 220,000 people and displacing millions.
About 1600 coffee growing families in the San Carlos region fled the bloodshed. Roughly 60% have so far returned. Most of them reviving their farms by planting new trees, and even expanding their coffee acreage. Their young trees taking three years to bear fruit. Another hurdle? Finding help when it comes time to harvest the beans.
>> Farmers I spoke to said that many of their neighbors hadn't returned. And they weren't sure that they ever were going to return. And so this is a problem for them because it meant that they could only grow their firms so much because during harvest season, they relied on their neighbors to help them pick during harvest.
>> Still the Colombian government is estimating the country's coffee output will grow by 40% by 2020. The additional supply of beans helping to push down global coffee prices for the world's top roasters such as Illy Cafe, Nestle's Nespresso, and Starbucks, who are cautiously entering Columbia's post conflict zones to source its flavorful brews.