The project "Agroflorestar, co-operating with nature" seeks to rescue knowledge, produce knowledge and also radiate practices and values for the transformation of agriculture through agro-ecological agroforestry systems. 

 

Thus, family farmers, quilombolas and agrarian reform settlers have shown that it is possible to combine high productivity with an increase of biodiversity and environmental conservation, in the same space, promoting the wealth, solidarity, food security and quality of life.

  

A - General Information

 

START: December of 2010

END: In progress  

EXECUTING ENTITY: Cooperafloresta- Agroforestry Farmers Association from Barra do Turvo and Adrianópolis

PARTNERS: Sponsorship by PETROBRAS - through the program Petrobras Socioambiental, APA Planalto Turvo; Propsperidade Pantanal Association, Environmental Defence Association of Antonina – ADEMADAN, Association of Ecological Producers of Native Rainforest of Vale do Ribeira – ECOOVALLE, Association of remaining marrons of Bairro Areia Branca , New Maroon Hope Association of Bairro Cedro , Association of remaining Maroons of Estreitinho, Center Field and City, Center of Sustainable Development and Training in Agroecology – CEAGRO, Socio-Agricultural Training Centre Dom Hélder Câmara, Terra Livre Cooperative, State school of Bairro Rio Vermelho, State school of Luiz Darly, EMATER Antonina, EMATER Morretes, EMBRAPA Florestas, Rosa Luxemburgo School, Higher School of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz -ESLAQ/USP- Dept of Forest science, Latin American School of Agroecology - ELAA , Grupo Terena of Environmental Land Management, Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity conservation –ICMBio –Coord. Reg. Sul/CEPSUL, Institute for Sustainable Development and Citizenship of Vale do Ribeira – IDESC, Technical Institute of teaching, research and extension in Agroecology Laudenor de Souza, Motirõ Cooperative society, State Park Rio Turvo, Municipality of Adrianópolis, Municipality of Apiaí, Municipality of Barra do Turvo, Municipality of Morretes, Sustainable Development Reserves - RDS Barreiro Anhemas, Sustainable Development reserves - RDS Maroon of Barra do Turvo, Sustainable Development reserves – RDS dos Pinheirinhos, Federal University of Paraná –Litoral -UFPR  Litoral –Management and Entrepreneurship Course, Federal University of Paraná – Department of Soils, Federal University of Fronteira Sul UFFS – Agronomy course

PRESENTED BY: Joana Mamedes and Walter Steenbock

RESOURCES: Own and third parties

VALUE RANGE: Above US$ 25,000.00

CATEGORY: Project

MAIN THEMATIC AREA: Agriculture

KEYWORDS: Agriculture, Agroforestry Systems, Agro-Ecological Agro-forest, Environmental Conservation, Food and nutritional security, Socio-Productive Inclusion, Cooperafloresta, Family Farmers, Maroons, Settlers of the Agrarian Reform.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Family Farmers, Maroons, Settlers of the Agrarian Reform, their Associations, Schools and Social Movements

LOCATION: Rural area

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE: Micro regional

In the State of São Paulo: Barra do Turvo/SP, Apiaí/SP, Ribeirão Preto/SP
In the State of Paraná: Adrianópolis/PR, Bocaiúva do Sul/PR, Lapa/PR, Antonina/PR, Morretes/PR, Guaraqueçaba/PR, Paranaguá/PR

  

B - Description of the Practice

 

1- BACKGROUND

The Cooperafloresta was formed in 1996, in Alto Vale do Rio Ribeira (PR/SP), region of very low HDI. Families today associated practiced agriculture and burning. The production was sold to middlemen and gave one to three minimum wages per year.

In two decades of existence, agroforestry practices of Cooperafloresta allowed a great increase of income (for one to two minimum wages per month), from a system, that combines excellent productivity with environmental recovery and that has served as a reference for many people.

From 2010, the "Agroflorestar Project" (sponsored by Petrobras, through the Petrobras Environmental Program) started to support the initiative, providing resources for the expansion of areas and the number of agroforestry farmers for training (Agricultural School) and for the research, bringing scientific analysis to the agroforestry practice.

From 2012, there was a closer approach with farmers in land reform settlements, creating the second version of the project, whose mission has been to deploy the concepts and agroforestry practices already established in settlements located in other ecosystems..

 

2- GENERAL OBJECTIVE

Promote the recovery and conservation of natural resources through the improvement and expansion of agroforestry practices with family agriculture, maroon and settlers of the land reform.

Specific Objectives: 

  • Generate technical and methodological references;
  • Socialize and multiply the knowledge and experience built by means of training activities, exchanges and environmental education

 

3 - SOLUTION ADOPTED

Bringing together agriculture and restoration of natural resources is important to the quality and supply of water, food and biodiversity at the global level, contributing heavily to the re-orientation of the antagonism between food production, forest and water availability, with repercussions that go far beyond the local and regional context.

Agro-ecological Agroforestry systems (AFSs) can produce plenty food and, at the same time, speed up the process that regenerates the life of forests and the integrity of the ecological cycle. In addition, this mode helps to change production patterns and consumption of society, building a solid and innovative perspective of sustainability with autonomy and sovereignty of rural communities.

To achieve the objective of the project, the strategies outlined sought to produce the following elements:

-Qualify and enlarge the agroforestry production with 400 farming families, settlers and maroons, through technical assistance, training of multipliers, agroforestry collective planning and deployment and management of agroforestry with joint efforts and exchanges;

-Implement actions of participant research, from the perspective of biodiversity, of fertility and other physical characteristics of the soil and carbon in the agroforestry practice, monitoring environmental and productive indicators;

-Strengthen the "Agroforestry School" considered as the constant construction of knowledge when families develop their agroforestry. Also, when multiplier agents and technicians assist the groups in the qualification of its production, when there is joint efforts, the production and marketing is processed collectively, and when researchers develop experiments, studies and exchanges with the farmers.

-Systematize the experiences is an important point in this process, because it gives the reflection and evaluation, in addition to generate benchmarks to be socialized in the perspective of the multiplication of the agroforestry practice. Here, there is a special focus for agroforestry practices irradiation for 50 agrarian reform settlements in the States of São Paulo and Paraná, from the settlements of direct operation of the project.

 

4 - RESULTS ACHIEVED

Within a general framework, the most expressive results from the Agroflorestar Project can be observed by the following contextualization:

  • In Alto Vale do Rio Ribeira, historic area of operation of Cooperafloresta, the actions of the Project allowed greater qualification of production processes and, especially, of the organization of the production, agro-industrialization and commercialization:
  • today, 112 families form the Cooperafloresta, in 1,100 hectares of agroforestry systems established, in which are set annually on average of 6.7 tons of carbon;
  • in these systems, are managed almost 200 species, producing about 1,000 tons of food per year;
  • The average monthly income of the associated families is between R$ 551.00 and R$ 1,100.00 (against R$ 450.00 monthly for the regional average);
  • About 25% of the production is intended for own consumption-ensuring food and nutritional security-the rest being directed to marketing;

The success of the work has been serving as a reference for courses and technical visits, in which 1,000 to 1,500 people each year have taken part, especially farmers, indigenous peoples and maroons, from different parts of Brazil.

The organicity of Cooperafloresta's work was crucial to provide conceptual and practical elements for the development of agroforestry in the settlements Mário Lago (Ribeirão Preto/SP), Contestado (Lapa/PR) and in coastal settlements in Paraná. This development has served as a reference for other 50 settlements of these States, through courses and technical visits to their farmers, which has made possible the gradual deployment of agroforestry practices for almost 900 families settled.

In these settlements, although there were already initiatives of agroecology, the agrochemical package still predominated. The agroforestry doing gas been modifying the landscape and the relationship of farmers with the productive process, in addition to promoting the approach between farmers and consumers.

Research actions have been demonstrating rapid evolution of soil fertility, carbon sequestration and biodiversity in agroforestry, associated with the increase of income.

With respect to market aspects, the Agroflorestar Project, works in the consolidation of marketing channels, diversification and on agro-industrialization, seeking to build a market logic, taking into account social and environmental ethics, going far beyond social inclusion. This logic is a fundamental tool for the formation of a society based on solidarity and cooperation ethic of human beings between thems and nature, objective of Cooperafloresta. 

Still, within the context of marketing, the Agroflorestar project, develops cooperative entrepreneurship through specific portal at the address http://www.rbma.org.br/mercado/empreendedores.php. In this virtual space, a wide range of handcrafted products can be found, all made from natural products and obtained in a sustainable way.

Finally, the initiative here registered-Agroflorestar Project-conferred in 2014, to the Cooperafloresta, the recognition by the Banco do Brazil Foundation (FBB) of Social Technology to classify it among 1,011 subscribers, as one of the 15 best projects in progress in Brazil.

 

5 - RESOURCES NEEDED

Human resources: the resources were heavily focused on the technical assistance activities of a qualified team formed by agronomists engineers, forestry engineers, agroforestry practices technicians, biologists, environmental managers and marketing and communication professionals, aiming at the training of multipliers, for the collective implementation of reference areas and to conduct exchanges, workshops and seminars. 

 

Material Resources: It was necessary also to acquire seedlings, seeds and inputs, as well as the adaptation of simple machines to the agroforestry management in the areas of the settlements, which has been creating important technical references. In addition, the production of brochures, newsletters, booklets, books and other communication materials was prioritized.

 

 

6 - TRANSFER

The training of multiplier agents has been an important element for the consolidation and expansion of agroforestry practices, especially considering the involvement of these agents with rural extension agencies, municipalities, trade unions and NGOs related to Agroecology in the regional and national spheres. On the other hand, conditions have been created for discussion and proposal to the Government regarding education policy, agricultural credit, rural extension, research and environmental legislation that consider the technical, productive and environmental conservation elements and agroforestry practices.

Based on reference built by Cooperafloresta in the last two decades, bridges have been built for the application of agroforestry practices in agrarian reform settlements, in which ecological sustainability has been sought through extensive processes, led by social organizations, oriented to training, mobilization and potentiation of practices that can refer to the adoption of agroecology.

Due to the organicity and mobilization capacity of the organizations involved, a promising path towards social, economic and environmental direction, to transform agro-ecologic agro-forestry into the way of doing agriculture, as it is increasingly practiced around the world.

 

7 - LESSONS LEARNED

The project has boosted the dialogue process, rebuilding the foundations and principles of agroforestry and agricultural practices in the training of the farming families through reflective practice (learning by doing), prioritizing the collective work (especially through agroforestry joint efforts) and the formation of local references (people, processes, and methodologies).

From this approach and from the development of the participant research, from building partnerships and capacity for advocacy, the proposal is being spread, considering positive aspects of agroforestry practices in different areas namely:

  • Environmental: Generation and maintenance of soil fertility; Regulation of the hydrological cycle; increased biodiversity; reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration;
  • Agronomy: high productivity with recovery and conservation of natural resources;
  • Financial: income generation through collective marketing of channel network in ethical, fair and solidarity markets;
  • Political: references generation for public policy formulation;
  • Social: Strengthening the organization of farming families;
  • Cultural: Rescue and valuation of traditional knowledge and practices.

As the main obstacle to the initiative, one can highlight the technical and cultural contrast between the agroforestry and agricultural systems conventionally practiced by farming families. Sometimes, this contrast has generated difficulties in the conception and understanding of the dynamics of agroforestry. These difficulties are natural and expected, and are being gradually overcome, however are still obstacles to the evolution of the system.

 

8 - ORIGINALITY OF THE PRACTICE

The agroforestry initiative, although widely spread across the country, is considered unique in its particularities and practical applications.

 

 

The visitation and exchange are part of the project, and the scheduling is common and simplified practice. Therefore, there are no limits of visitors nor specific times or periods.

 

 

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