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a department in central Colombia, in the Cordillera Central and in the part of the Magdalena River valley that is adjacent to these mountains. Area, 7, 300 sq km; population, 827, 000 (1971). The city of Manizales is its administrative center. Caldas is a significant coffee-producing region (one-third of the national output). Bananas, sugarcane, tobacco, corn, wheat, and beans are also cultivated. Gold is mined here. It is also the site of food, textile, leather-footwear, pulp-and-paper, chemical, glass, cement, and machine-building industries.