Agrarian School for Youngsters in Rio Pardo

Rio Pardo is located in the south of Brasil. Many of the young people move from the rural region to the major city of Porto Alegre because they don’t see a future in the countryside. Big agrarian and chemical companies endanger the existence of many of the region’s smallfarmers living off subsistence farming. Fertilizers and pesticides used for the cultivation of rice and tobacco by the big companies lead to heavy pollution of the soil and pose a health threat to the farmers. Smallfarmers can’t afford the high expenses for seed, fertilizer and pesticides. Due to microcredits they fall in debt and lose their land. They migrate to the cities and many times end up in despair.

At the Escola de Jovens Rorais agrarian school, young people receive an education on organic agriculture that opens up new perspectives for a fulfilled life in the countryside for themselves and their families. The aim of the project is to improve the life quality of the smallfarmers in the countryside and build their awareness for the impact of ecological, sustainable cultivation methods. The project begins with the education of young people with respect to social, agricultural and political topics. The graduate smallfarmers are being organized in groups or cooperatives. The project encourages the sustainable production of food for self-supply and for selling it at local markets. It relies on organic cultivation methods, refrains from using poisonous pesticides and favors biodiversity instead of monocultures. Training courses, workshops and network meetings accompany the young people and their families even after their specific training and ensure the long-term impacts of the project.

The Project

Country Brasil
PartnerMissionary center of Franciscans e.V. and Escola de Jovens Rurais (EJR)
Target group65 youngsters and 720 family members from smallfarmer families

The Comparison

Expectancy of life73 Years80,7 Years
Childhood mortality under the age of 5
per 1,000 live births
Literacy rate of adults older than 1591n.s.
Population density (persons per km²)23234,6

Source: World Bank Development Indicators as of June 2013