Sustainable Agriculture and Water Provision in East Brazil

This project will transform the lives of 4,000 people (800 families) in the Gurutuba Region north of Minas Gerais, East Brazil, by combating food and water shortages, increasing income, and giving families a safety net to help them cope when crops fail. It is a three-year project.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (274467)




  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



The Gurutuba Region has a population of about 6,500 people, surviving through subsistence farming. Access to water in these communities is scarce. In addition to the region’s low levels of rainfall, irrigation projects in the area have diverted water supplies to large commercial farmers. It is estimated that 50% of the region’s family farmers are currently forced to use unsafe water sources, which has caused a high incidence of waterborne diseases. The burden of water collection falls on women and children who are forced to walk up to ten kilometres during the dry season. These communities increasingly have no seeds to plant as a result of failed harvests, which force the families to eat all their seed reserves. This translates into a decrease in the local seed diversity and the growing dependence of farmers on the purchase of seeds and seedlings from other regions that may not be suitable to the area, requiring, for instance, large amounts of irrigation and fertilizers. Therefore, the situation of the Gurutuba communities is one of extreme food and nutritional insecurity, where their survival increasingly depends on food transfer programmes from the state. This project aims to: • Increase food and nutritional security • Increase preservation of local biodiversity, natural resources and environment • Increase income generating activities • Improve appreciation of the value of women’s role in family farming • Improve water security, including health and sanitation • Increased self-esteem through the appreciation of the Gurutuba communities’ culture and traditional knowledge • Increase political participation and advocacy The project will provide a support package to 800 families of 30 Gurutuba communities, consisting of: 1. Capacity building of family farmers 2. Establishing communal fruit and vegetable gardens 3. Ensuring good health and nutrition through herb gardens and animal raising 4. Managing water 5. Independence through seed banks 6. Establishing food processing units 7. Raising awareness and turning policy into practice This is a three year project and the estimated cost breakdown is: Year 1 £49,808 Year 2 £40,149 Year 3 £40,149 Total £130,106