Knowledge is central to overcoming poverty in Brazil

IFAD Executive Board approves US$56 million in funding for poverty reduction projects in Northeast Brazil 
The Executive Board of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) recently approved two new rural poverty reduction projects for the Brazilian states of Ceará and Sergipe.

The two projects will benefit over 80,000 poor rural families at a total cost of US$133 million, with US$56 million in IFAD funding.

“The Dom Távora and Paulo Freire Projects are named after famous Brazilian educators and advocates for the poor, and look at knowledge as the central tool to overcoming poverty,” said IFAD’s Country Program Manager for Brazil, Iván Cossio. “Paulo Freire will work in the state of Ceará and focus on providing over 60,000 poor rural families with the tools and training they need to overcome poverty. The Dom Távora Project will be implemented in Sergipe, and focuses on the promotion of rural businesses and capacity building, and will benefit around 20,000 rural households.”

Brazil is an emerging economy with a growing GDP and sustained poverty reduction. Nevertheless, inequality and poverty persist.

About 55 per cent of the rural population in Brazil lives below the poverty line. This percentage increases to 66 per cent in Northeast Brazil, where more than one in three people live in extreme poverty. In some states of the Northeast, this percentage climbs to more than 75 per cent, making this the largest pocket of rural poverty in all of Latin America.

“The two projects will work on the state level to fulfil the federal government’s poverty reduction goals. They have been fully integrated within the framework of the ‘Brazil Without Extreme Poverty Programme’ and will serve to compliment the Bolsa Familia conditional cash transfer program,” Cossio said.

Paulo Freire Project 
The Ceará Secretariat for Agrarian Development will implement the Productive Development and Capacity Building Project in the State of Ceará (Paulo Freire) over six years.

The project will cost a total of US$95 million, with US$40 million in financing from IFAD, US$40 million from the Ceará state government, and US$14.9 in contributions from the beneficiaries themselves.

“The project looks to reduce extreme poverty in the project area from 43 to 28 per cent, grow household assets by 30 per cent, and provide 60,000 households with training, technical assistance and the tools they need to grow their businesses, access markets, protect the fragile semi-arid environment and lower their risk profile,” said Cossio. “We’ve found that an investment in women and youth is an investment in a sustainable future. With this in mind, over half of the project beneficiaries will be women and young people.”

Dom Távora Project 
The Rural Business for Small Producers Project (Dom Távora) will be implemented over six years by the Agricultural Development Enterprise of Sergipe agency under the direction of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Agrarian and Rural Development.

It will cost approximately US$38 million, with US$16 million in financing from IFAD, US$12.6 million from the state of Sergipe and over US$9 million from project beneficiaries.

“The Dom Távora Project focuses on fostering local talents and supporting local businesses, with the goal of increasing incomes, supporting producer’s associations and creating a better life,” Cossio said.

Share it!



bellachheb said…
I have implemented during 25 years of applied research with the participation of small farmers in arid regions(Tunisia)2 technologies: The draining floater and the buried diffuser. The first allows the water pumping and distribution using gravity (siphon principle) without any conventional pump. This is used for spring’s water, river’s water, dams’ retention water. The second technology (the buried diffuser for underground irrigation of vegetables, trees and other food crops: corn, sorghum, millet etc.) allows a great water saving. This means that to produce one kilo of any crop you use 2 times less water then drip irrigation. This means also that with the same irrigation water volume the buried diffuser produces 3 times more food then drip irrigation. That is one magic formula for water and food security. The buried diffuser allows also to maintain the food security even during a seasonal or long drought by anticipating the irrigation this means that you irrigate during the rain season to produce during the dry season. For a long drought specially for trees crops it is possible to inject the water(from rivers, dams, or springs, during a long period(2 till 3 months continuously days and nights) to store the water in the deep soil layers where are the roots systems. this injection enables to produce normally during 2 till 3 completely dry years. Both technologies could be used in the projects financed by IFAD to ensure overcoming poverty and for water and food security, in Brazil
The 2 techniques have been awarded several times: UNESCO International Water Prise (2009); Top50 innovative SME Award and Top20 innovative SME Award from World Bank (2011). For more informations on the buried diffuser and draining floater visit the website: or write to the following email address: