Valor in Brazil
June 26, 2012
Great article here about Projeto Gente de Valor, a very promising organization which specialises in helping people in the Bahia state of Brazil to create backyard gardens and to grow drought-resistant vegetables. Prompted by regular droughts and the destruction of cereal and bean harvests, the group has had great success convincing people to install irrigation tanks, grow out of fashion herbs and vegetables (particularly coriander, it seems) and turn homes into productive ecosystems.
Over 5,500 gardens have been created so far, with, say organizers, a focus on the poorest communities, as well as young people and women. Additionally “traditional local activities like sheep and goat farming, beekeeping, production and gathering of cashews and native fruits, the production of yucca-based products, and craft-making” have all been encouraged while an amazing 400,000 rainwater harvesting tanks have been installed on roofs.
Interestingly, the farmers of Brazil share a growing use of the Moringa tree (Moringa oleifera or the horseradish tree) with market gardeners in Niger mentioned in a previous post. Apparently, the drought resistant Moringa is excellent forage for goats, which should give it a valuable role in future agroecological systems.
In general, it’s a great strategy for dealing with rising energy prices and climate change, as well as raising the status of marginalized groups and improving regional diets.