The story of the Tundama Mill

Before the country’s powerful flour industry disappeared, because of the FTA with Canada, where we care about a lot of GMO wheat, there were imposing and prominent mills. One of them was the Tundama Mill, in the city of Duitama.


Another disaster of bad free trade agreements

From this magnificent construction, which began to be erected in 1911, by the Milling Company of the Tundama, today you can only see dark ruins and a bleak panorama. But back then, in the first half of the twentieth century, when Duitama was strengthened as an eminently agricultural region and this great milling company was consolidated, the building symbolized an important point in the development of the local economy.

From this flour industry, a particular way of transporting the grinding product emerged: “on the back of a mule”, to the different parts of the country. Then, for this purpose, stone paths were built through which carriages pulled by oxen or horses were transited. But not only was growth consolidated in the Duitamense industry, but at the time, the thriving transport business was born, generating employment and considerable profits, which to this day remains booming.

Its floors and ceilings are now falling apart and over time have crumbled, as have the window panes. Therefore, upon entering the enclosure it is an adventure full of adrenaline, because large cracks and holes have opened in the rotten floor of its different plants and it is almost impossible to travel its passages and halls.

Some furniture such as desks, sidewits and shelves rest there for decades. The highest floors are inaccessible as the overdue wooden stairs have broken. Only mice, rats, insects, pigeons, echoes and memories of yesteryear live in these grim ruins. Also, you can see some signs that say: “smoking, making use of matches, reverberos and embers inside mill buildings, warehouses and warehouses is strictly prohibited”.

The Tundama Mill lasted about 13 years to be completely grounded, because at that time, few people were engaged in professional labor in the department. Thus, the machines, whose operation was coal-based, began work in 1924 with 21 operators.

16 years later, these artifacts were modified by gasoline machinery and shone in all its splendor the milling company in Boyacá, becoming a power in the implementation of new technologies and in the generation of employment, since hundreds of duitamenses worked in the factory and in the other two mills that opened in the middle of the last century: The Condor and The Sun.

Approximately half a thousand loads of flour were marketed daily. But similar to today’s, “good agricultural policies” threatened Industrialists and Boyaque workers. This is how foreign imports of wheat and barley wiped out the gigantic crops and powerful industry that climbed by leaps and bounds, because as now, the government facilitated the entry of the same products we produce, while our crops die. It became cheaper to buy than to produce. The same measures that are taken around the world.

All this generated an internal wallow within the Tundama Mill ingacon Company, which after 54 years of hard venture, had to shut down engines and close its doors in 1978. However, the facilities were too appealing to some investors such as the Harinera Del Valle Industry, who bought the premises and continued with the manufacture of flour, but in a very small amount. They only withstood nine hard years and the mill failed again.

In view of what happened, those investors decided to demolish the mill in order to create housing plans. But due to the timely intervention of the Municipal Council, its physical destruction was prevented, declaring it well of historical and cultural interest of the municipality of Duitama.

That was the sad end of the impetuous Tundama Mill, a company that was able to continue to position La Perla of the department as an industrial power, which produced and transformed our own grain and our own bread, but now we have become mere consumers, no matter what we could produce.

The story of the Tundama Mill
Source: curiosities  
June 30, 2019


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