Prospects for young people in rural areas
Unjust land distribution is a long-term problem in Brazil. Around 80 percent of all the fertile land is owned by large landowners. The government supports intensive crop spraying and a farming industry that focuses on the export market to such an extent that families with small farms, who produce most of the food consumed in Brazil, are forced to fight for survival. Young people in particular cannot see any kind of future on the land, and they migrate to the city. There, they frequently end up in slum areas or slave away on plantations in return for starvation wages. Ecological farming practices offer an alternative that is not only sustainable and healthy but also lucrative, allowing young people to develop the prospect of a worthwhile life living from the land. They are supported in this by partner organisations of terre des hommes schweiz.
Example: a tree nursery
Our partner organisation, Centro Sabiá, provides children living in rural locations with advice on environmental protection issues and ecological methods of farming. The young people form groups for developing their own projects, e.g. sapling projects. The team from Centro Sabiá assists young people with planning and with securing public funding, for instance for the installation of large water tanks for irrigation purposes. For a number of years now, a group of young people has been producing saplings for sale, for the revitalisation of river courses, and for the reforestation of degraded areas. These young people have so far succeeded in reforesting 20 hectares of land.