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Brazil
2018-2021: Supporting farmer communities in Brazil through the strengthening of agro-ecological practices
Project

Location

The project is realized in the Mata Norte region in Pernambuco, near Recife, in northeastern Brazil. The state of Pernambuco has about 9 million inhabitants and has a surface similar to that of Portugal. During the colonization in the 17th century, Brazil was the world's largest sugar producer. The majority of this sugar was grown on the fertile lands of Pernambuco.

Current situation

Nowadays, the economic sector of the Mata Norte region is dominated by the production of sugar cane and of alcohol for "green petrol" engines. The majority of the land in the region is owned by large landowners. In recent years, agrarian conflicts and rural land liberation struggles have led to an agrarian reform.
On the one hand, farmer families have regained access to farmer land as a result of this agrarian reform. However, they are now facing challenges in satisfying their daily economic needs and in cultivating healthy and sustainable food. On the other hand, a lot of land remains in the hands of the large sugar cane factories that continue their monocultural exploitation of the land. This type of production involves the use of agrochemicals, environmental degradation and labor exploitation.

Objectives

To tackle this problem of a monocultural production mode, it is necessary to offer practical trainings to farmer families in order for them to learn methods of alternative farming. The aim is to increase the farmers' knowledge in an environmentally friendly and sustainable production. Brazil is currently considered the world’s largest consumer of agrochemicals.

Description du projet (download Flyer)

Project description (download Flyer)
The project aims to improve the quality of life of the farmer families by raising their awareness around the needs to change the productive system. The introduction of an environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture will promote an ecological balance and a cultural diversification. A fundamental goal of this project is the transmission of the acquired knowledge to other families and especially to the next generation.

Beneficiairies

The direct beneficiaries of this project are 50 farmer families who have received a parcel by the State through the agrarian reform. Through the local exchange of skills, the project will indirectly benefit 252 other families that are part of this agrarian reform.

Funding

314'547.86 EUR : Budget allocated to the project
232'765.41 EUR : Contribution of the Luxembourgish Government
81'782.45 EUR : Contribution of l’Action pour un Monde Uni asbl

Local partner in Brazil: CPT- Comissão Pastoral da Terre

Co-financed by the Luxembourgish Ministry according to the framework agreement signed between the Luxembourgish Ministry and the NGO Action pour un Monde Uni on 11.01.2018.

Témoignages locaux

30.10.2020 Plácido Junior and Renata Albuquerque, Pastoral Agent of the NE2 Pastoral Land Commission.


Brazil has been one of the countries most affected by the new coronavirus pandemic in the world. According to figures from the Ministry of Health, the country has over five million people infected and over 150,000 deaths from the disease, placing it in the fourth position of highest per capita contamination on the planet. Government measures to confront Covid-19 have unfortunately not helped to alleviate the damage to the health of the Brazilian population in the face of the pandemic. For four months - from June to September - the Ministry of Health was without a minister, which damaged the dialogue with society and revealed the contempt with which the issue of combating the coronavirus was treated by the government.

The impacts of the pandemic have worsened the economic and labor crisis in Brazil, mainly affecting the most impoverished working class. According to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the unemployment rate reached 14.3% in August. Last year, the average unemployment rate in the country was 11.9%, according to data from the Institute. Instead of implementing measures to combat Brazil's social crisis, the Brazilian government announced a halving of emergency aid to the country's low-income population. The amount of the aid is now R$300 (US$300.00) per month, which is less than the value of a basic food basket that costs an average of R$400 (US$400.00), according to the Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (DIEESE).

Such measures aggravate the injustices and social inequalities that already exist in Brazil and reduce the population's purchasing capacity, even for basic and fundamental items of life, such as food. Families accompanied by the CPT say they already feel that less food from peasant agriculture is being purchased. Thus, they are facing the difficulty of selling all their products, leaving them with huge economic challenges. The cycle of inequality and impoverishment is thus gaining new momentum in the country.

To meet the challenge, some experiences gain prominence. Among them, there is international solidarity which allows us to purchase part of the food produced in the North Forest of Pernambuco, and to distribute it to low-income and street populations. This gesture has been made by the Luxembourg organization, a friend and partner of CPT, AMU - Action pour un Monde Uni. Some peasant families in the region have also resorted to the use of technology, commercializing their products through the internet, even with all the challenges and limitations of connection found in the rural area. Moreover, the practice of short circuit marketing gains even more strength in these times, with the sale or exchange of food between members of the same community or between neighboring communities. Gestures of solidarity, community organization and a lot of healthy food production are some of the ingredients that are helping farming families in Mata Norte to get through this pandemic.


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Action pour un Monde Uni asbl - NGO accredited Non-Governmental Organization in Luxembourg