Barreiras Celebrates Villages Program in Brazil
The Mosaic Company is driven by its mission- to help the world grow the food it needs. A vital component is help educate farmers on how to increase yields and improve land management are important aspects of promoting food security. With support from The Mosaic Institute in Brazil, The Villages in Brazil launched last year in Barreiras, state of Bahia.
In its inaugural year, 40 families living in this area were included in the program, increasing their income by 230% and improving access to fresh food and vital crops. The program offers smallholder farmers the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team that encourages and educates them in better agronomic practices to improve and increase crop output.
On August 31, 2022, leadership of Mosaic Fertilizantes, sponsor of The Mosaic Institute, as well as local community leaders and participating families celebrated the positive community impact of the first year.
Fernanda Fernandes is just one of the smallholders participating in the program. “I had no regular income and no perspective of having income. I opened by mind to earning money while staying at home,” she said. According to her, one of the main benefits of the technical support provided was understanding that it is possible to plant year-round, not only during the rainy season. “One of the things the project helped me was having a shorter crop cycle, which created a business vision. Today we can deliver our produce directly to the market and sell it in farmer markets,” she added.
Developed in partnership with The Mosaic Company Foundation and having annual funding of R$1.5 million, the Villages program is designed to complement public policies and encourage territorial development.
According to the chairman of the Governing Board of The Mosaic Institute, Arthur Liacre, who is also Vice President, Public Affairs, Strategy, and Sustainability of Mosaic Fertilizantes, the initiative’s investments are in line with the company’s commitment to promote mutual and sustainable development of communities. “By improving techniques applied to family farming, especially in rural areas, we create opportunities for these families to generate income and provide food security at these locations, in addition to providing sustainable management of the soil. This benefits society and the environment.”
In addition to boosting productivity and farmer income, the program encourages the diversification of crops, provides access to water by building cisterns or upgrading the irrigation system to improve water supply and availability, and offers education in the field.
The program has already helped build 23 cisterns, installed 40 irrigation systems, and saved 460,000 liters (more than 120,000 gallons) of water. The program has also supported 416 students and trained 45 teachers of the Barreiras public school system, offering content on nutrition. Vegetable gardens built at two schools provide a practical learning experience.
For more than a decade, Mosaic has partnered with organizations in India on the Villages in India, called Krishi Jyoti. With its success, Mosaic Fertilizantes in South America adopted the same pillars of the program to launch the Villages in Brazil.