The North-East region of Brazil is one of the poorest regions of the country and the state of Pernambuco is in accordance with this reality. The three target towns have a per capita GDP under the state average, nearly 45% of population is living under the poverty line. No one of the rural communities is served by regular water supply and sewage systems. The share of rural population in the three concerned municipalities ranges between 10,6% at Gravatà and 46,8% at Gloria do Goitá (IBGE 2010). These data reflect the reality of rural areas in Brazil, where 84,4% of farms are family farms and 50% of them are located in the Nordeste. However, only a 38% of the country’s agricultural GDP is represented by family farms, though the latter account for a 74,4% of total employment in agriculture in in Brazil and provide most basic food staples. Family farming only accounts for a 24,3% of total arable land, and the index of concentration of land ownership in Brazil is still among the highest worldwide.
“Pernambuco Agroecologico” was born under a public-private partnership between civil society actors (ICEI, Associação dos Profissionais da Agricultura Orgânica – APOrg e Comunità Rurali) and Brazilian public bodies (Ministry of Agriculture – MAPA; Government of Pernambuco – Secretariat of Agriculture and Land Reform – SARA, Executive Secretariat of Family Farming – SEAF; Program of Support to small rural farmers – ProRural) and has as general objective to improve the standards of living and create income opportunities for rural communities in poverty conditions in the region of Zona della Mata e Agreste of the Pernambuco state. It has been stablished in the frame of national public policies for rural development based on agro-ecological family farming.
The general objective of the project is to improve the standards of living and create income opportunities for rural communities in poverty conditions in the region of Zona della Mata e Agreste of the Pernambuco state.
In particular, the project actions are aimed to strengthen agro-ecological family farming as a social and economic patter for production, income generation and consumption for farmer households in three rural communities of the municipalities of Feira Nova, Gravatá and Glória do Goitá in the State of Pernambuco.
The project selected 180 farmers’ households in 3 rural communities (nearly 7090 people), 3 associations of rural producers, at least 15 public administrations, 10 consumer groups of agro-ecological products (nearly 2000 people).
Rural producers were selected according to relevant criteria related to the classification provided by the National Law of Family Farming (L.11.326 of July 24 2006): the farms’ area must not exceed 4 tax modules, their workforce consists mainly of family members, the family income is mainly generated by activities related to family production, and the farm is self-managed by the family.
The populations of the 3 municipalities (126,048 residents) and the consumers (nearly 5000) of the Metropolitan Region of Recife benefitted from the multiplication effects of the action: income and employment generation, enhancement of food quality and safety, sensibilization on food and responsible consumption.
TRAINING AND PRODUCTION – The rural households have adopted principles and techniques of agro- ecology, food sovereignty and sustainable land management as a basis for the social and economic organization of their communities
INSTITUTIONAL EMPOWERMENT – 180 farmers households organized in 3 associations formalized and recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, strengthened in their management, technical and administration skills, collaborating with public administrators to implement policies related to family farming.
CERTIFICATION AND MARKETING – Family farmers certified as agro-ecological producers by the Ministry of Agriculture sell on 10 agro-ecologic markets and participate in public programmes to supply school canteens.
CONSUMPTION AND RESPONSIBLE TOURISM – Rural communities and consumers sensibilized on the importance of agro-ecology, food and responsible consumption.