The project "Organic Fruit Yards" is developed since 2004, through the partnership between Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa temperate climate) and Eletrobras CGTEE (Company of Thermal Generation of Electricity). From 2013, it also has the support from Finep (Financier of Studies and Projects), for having been awarded the Innovation Prize in the category "Social Technology" (southern region and national). This action aims to contribute to the social, economic and environmental sustainability of vulnerable and with social, economic and food risk publics, mainly family farmers, settlers of the land reform, indigenous communities, quilombolas and students from rural and urban schools.



The initiative emphasizes technique and conceptually the principles of production of ecological basis, addressing cultural, ethnic, environmental, economic, medicinal and food issues. From 2004 to 2016, 2,018 Yards have been implanted in 194 municipalities in southern Brazil and Uruguay, reaching 60.701 direct beneficiaries.



A - General information


START: December 2004 (in progress)

EXECUTING ENTITY: Brazilian Agricultural Research Company - Agricultural Research Centre of temperate climate - CPACT

CO-EXECUTOR ENTITIES: Company of Thermal Generation of Electricity - Eletrobras CGTEE

PARTNERS: Emater-RS, Municipal Departments of Agriculture and Education, ONG’s, among others

PRESENTED BY: Fernando Rogério Costa Gomes

RESOURCES: Third parties

VALUE RANGE: Above U$25.000


MAIN THEMATIC AREA: Food and Nutritional Security

KEYWORDS: Food Security, Health, Environment, Social Inclusion, Family Farmers, Yards, Settlers, Quilombolas, School Community, Fruit farming, Urban areas, Rural areas, Embrapa

TARGET AUDIENCE: Quilombolas Community, Indigenous Communities, Peri-urban Communities, Family Farmers, Rural Schools, Urban Schools, Universities, Charities

LOCATION: Peri-urban area

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE: Transnational (that goes beyond national borders, encompassing more than one nation)


Rio Grande do Sul: (166 municipalities)

Municipalities of Aceguá, Ajuricaba, Alvorada, Alegrete, Alegria, Alto Alegre, Amaral Ferrador, Anta Gorda, Arambaré, Arroio do Padre, Arroio do Tigre, Arroio Grande, Arvorezinha, Bagé, Barra do Ribeiro, Barros Cassal, Bento Gonçalves, Benjamim Constant do Sul, Boa Vista das Missões, Boqueirão do Leão, Bozano, Butiá, Caçapava do Sul, Caiçara, Camaquã, Campos Borges, Cachoeira do Sul, Candelária, Candiota, Canguçu, Capela Santana, Casca, Capão do Leão, Capão do Cipó, Caseiros, Cerrito, Cerro Branco, Charqueadas, Charrua, Coqueiro Baixo, Cristal, Cruz Alta, Cruzeiro do Sul, Dilermando de Aguiar, Dois Irmãos, Dois Lajeados, Dom Feliciano, Dom Pedrito, Dona Francisca, Doutor Ricardo, Eldorado do Sul, Encruzilhada do Sul, Encantado, Erebango, Erechmi, Espumoso, Farroupilha, Formigueiro, Fontoura Xavier, Frederico Westphalen, Garruchos, General Câmara, Gravataí, Gramado Xavier, Guaíba, Herval, Herveiras, Hulha Negra, Ibirubá, Ilópolis, Irai, Itaqui, Itapuca, Jacuizinho, Jaguarão, Jaguari, Jaquirana, Jari, Jóia, Júlio de Castilhos, Lagoa dos Três Cantos, Lavras do Sul, Liberato Salzano, Manoel Viana, Mariana Pimentel, Mato Leitão, Morro Redondo, Muitos Capões, Muçum, Nova Bréscia, Nova Palma, Nonoai, Novo Barreiro, Novos Cabrais, Novo Hamburgo, Palmares do Sul, Palmeira das Missões, Paraíso do Sul, Passo do Sobrado, Passo Fundo, Passa Sete, Pedras Altas, Pedro Osório, Pelotas, Pinheiro Machado, Piratini, Planalto, Porto Alegre, Porto Vera Cruz, Putinga, Quarai, Quevedos, Relvado, Rio Grande, Rio Pardo, Rosário do Sul, Santa Cruz do Sul, Santa Margarida, Santa Maria, Santa Rosa, Santa Vitória do Palmar, Santana da Boa Vista, Santana do Livramento, Santiago, Santo Antônio da Patrulha, Santo Cristo, São Francisco de Assis, São Francisco de Paula, São Gabriel, São Jerônimo, São José do Herval, São José do Norte, São Leopoldo, São Lourenço do Sul, São Luiz Gonzaga, São Marcos, São Martinho da Serra, São Miguel das Missões, São Sepé, São Vicente do Sul, Seberi, Segredo, Senador Amaral, Sentinela do Sul, Silveira Martins, Sinimbu, Tapera, Tapes, Taquari, Tenente Portela, Teutônia, Toropi, Travesseiro, Três de Maio, Tupanciretã, Tupandi, Turuçu, Ubiratama, Uruguaiana, Vacaria, Vale do Sol, Vale Verde, Venâncio Aires, Vera Cruz, Viamão, Vila Nova do Sul

Santa Catarina: (18 municipalities)

Municipalities of Água Doce, Concórdia, Chapecó, Fraiburgo, Ipumirim, Jupiá,Lindóia do Sul, Mafra, Pinhalzinho, Rio das Antas, Rio Negrinho, Santa Rosa do Sul, São Bento do Sul, São João do Sul, Sombrio, Timbé do Sul, Treze Tílias, Turvo

Paraná: (8 municipalities)

Municipalities of Bom Sucesso do Sul, Bituruna, Campo Mourão, Foz do Iguaçu, Irati, Londrina, Pato Branco, São Mateus

Uruguai: (2 municipalities)

Municipalities of Artigas, Rivera



B - Description of practice



Despite the numerous research and development projects sponsored by the State, poverty, food shortages, malnutrition, decline in health conditions and environmental degradation continue to be problems of developing countries. The southern region of Brazil, made up by the States of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná, where there is a predominance of family agriculture, have also faced difficulties of access to technological information within the framework of this modality of land arrangement.

Poverty, unemployment, poor education, environmental degradation, lack of training and motivation, lack of vitamins and minerals in the diet, mainly family farmers, settlers, indigenous and quilombola communities are a sad reality that needs to be tackled. Communities also lost the tradition of local production of diversified food and less aggressive systems to the environment and health.

In this context, the proposal of the initiative of the "Organic Fruit Yards" is that beneficiaries, through the adoption of appropriate technologies and training, supplement their diet with fruits, vegetables and grains produced in yards and, additionally, adding value to raw materials aiming at the increase of income earned. Increased self-confidence of the assisted by the project, to make them technically more competent to be able to take responsibility for correction of their own inefficiencies and be protagonist in the solution of their problems.



Promote and validate, in urban and rural areas, technologies that allow the implementation of organic food yards with nutritional and functional properties, in order to contribute to the reduction of hunger and increase the quality of life of the population.


Specific Objectives:

  • Promote the use of fruits, as a strategy for food security, providing them with regularity of supply throughout the year;
  • Promote the production of vegetables and grains as a strategy for food security, providing them with regularity of supply;
  • Train family farmers, settlers, indigenous and quilombola communities, school community (rural and urban) in deployment and maintenance techniques of organic yards;
  • Train the beneficiaries on the nutraceutical properties and processing of fruit into candies, juices, canned fruit and pulps;
  • Rescue expertise, knowledge and genetic materials, some endangered (native fruits);
  • To promote care for the environment, developing safe practices of production and consumption, promoting the proper management and sustainable use of natural resources;
  • Disseminate and transfer technologies researched and validated in Embrapa temperate climate;
  • Promote the development of values such as solidarity, respect, commitment, self-esteem, teamwork and cooperation, among others.



The methodology is based on the production of seedlings of fruit trees, selection and deployment of yards, along with partners, from participatory process and technology of Embrapa. The yards deployed comprise a Reference Network and/or Demonstration Units, which, in addition to promoting the exchange and transfer of technology, enable yet, research and validate the use of fruits, grains and vegetables. As a strategy for food security, the initiative acts offering regularly all year long, healthy, nutritional and functional foods.

The beneficiaries receive fruit seedlings, various inputs and, in return, should make available the deployment area of the yard and engage with the workforce, both for the deployment as maintenance. Each yard has five plants of 18 species of fruits, chosen on the basis of their nutritional and medicinal characteristics and capacity to adapt well to soils and temperate climate of the region. The 90 plants that make up each yard consist of the following species of fruit: peach, fig, orange, blackberry, cherry, araçá, guava, persimmon, Brazilian cherry, pomegranate, tangerine, lemon, guabiju, araticum, uvaia, vine, jaboticaba and guabiroba. From 2012, 13 species of vegetables are also being grown, in addition to corn, beans and sweet potatoes, totaling 34 foods per yard.

One of the priorities is the implementation of training courses on processing and adding value to food of yards, as well as training for the knowledge on their functional properties. To this end, the project has a technical team consisting of researchers of Embrapa, students, trainees and partnership with Emater-RS, municipal departments of agriculture and education, NGOs, among others.



The project "Organic Fruit Yards" is present in 02 countries (Brazil and Uruguay) and covers 166 municipalities in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, 16 municipalities in the State of Santa Catarina and 08 municipalities in the State of Paraná.

It has already benefited 3,345 settled farmers, 7,056 family farmers, 38,434 students, 2,641 indigenous, 876 quilombolas and 8,349 beneficiaries in social care institutions. 


It is important to point out that with the resources of the Finep Innovation Award in the category "Social Technology" southern region and national, obtained in 2009 and released in 2013, have been deployed:

  • Approximately 201 Yards between 2013-2016;
  • Benefiting directly 167 settled farmers, 1.375 family farmers, 3.903 students, 07 quilombolas and 320 beneficiaries in social care institutions;

With the financial support of Eletrobrás CGTEE the project has reached the following results:

  • By November 2016 1,817 organic fruits yards had been deployed;
  • About of 348,700 plants were introduced in 1,817 yards formed;
  • From the total, 151,900 planted species were fruit seedlings (approximately 50% native and endangered species,) some used as curtains or plant windbreaks for the yards

Totaling the financial support of Eletrobrás CGTEE + Finep the initiative "Organic Yards" reached approximately 60,701 direct beneficiaries, with 2,018 yards formed and 374.9 plants provided.

Finally, in more than ten years of project 143 scholarships have been granted.




Human Resources:

The team is formed by 05 researchers, 01 analyst, 01 Embrapa technician, in addition to 19 university scholarship holders from various fields, funded by CGTEE and Finep.

There is also variable support, from human resources of Emater-RS, as well as municipal departments of education and agriculture

Physical Structure:

A unit for producing seedlings implemented at the Experimental Station of Cascata/Pelotas-RS, with resources from the CGTEE, composed by 02 greenhouses, 03 nurseries, support office, barn, warehouse and 02 main yards, in area of 2.500 m². As for the logistics of transportation, vehicles are available for exclusive use of the project, two assigned by CGTEE  (01 truck Mercedes 608 and 01 pickup truck Toyota Bandeirantes) and were acquired with funds from CGTEE, 03 other pickup truck (Toyota Hilux and 01 Fiat Adventure). Through Finep 01 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck and some laboratory equipment were acquired.

Other items required for the project are provided by Embrapa temperate climate.




Widespread throughout its existence between an audience that encompasses 02 countries (Brazil and Uruguay), and with strong presence in 03 States of Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná), the project "Organic Fruit Yards" has already reached 60,701 direct beneficiaries. Because of this, the project received the following awards: Social Technology certification, by the Banco do Brazil Foundation; Environmental technology in the third Edition of the international fair of technology for environment (FIEMA); Environmental technologies-public sector, during the 16th edition of the Ecology Expression Award; South Region and National Social Technology, the Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP).

Each yard is a Reference Unit or Demonstrative Unit, used for field days, visits, courses, among others. The project Yards is aimed at public in situation of social vulnerability, such as settlers of the land reform, family farmers, indigenous and quilombola communities, urban and rural schools, universities and social care institutions. To become a beneficiary and access the project the person has to contact the partner institutions or directly with Embrapa at,, www.facebook/projetoquintais, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



The project demonstrates the desired promotion of food security, social inclusion and training of family farmers, settlers of the land reform, quilombolas, school community and social care institutions. It redeems the tradition of food production in their backyard, contributing to health, preservation of native species, food supply and its by-products, during the 12 months of the year.

Fruits surplus are processed into juices, jellies and jams, allowing the aggregation of value. The project also aims to train and encourage beneficiaries to identify species that have marketing opportunity in their territory and to extend the cultivation area, generating income, employment and development.

All the success of the initiative is credited to its simplicity and how easy to understand by the beneficiaries it is, and the main difficulty identified in this long trajectory of applying the concept, lies in the difficulty of obtaining sufficient financial resources in respect of the times of the year that would be most needed. 



This is an original practice, without similar initiative within the same regions.

The visitations are accepted at any time of the year, with unlimited visitors. It is recommended for a better service, to schedule the visit in advance with the technical coordinator of the project.



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