Ancora sulla prima fiera di semi tradizionali dello stato di S. PauloMore about the I S. Paulo state landrace fairAinda a respeito da I feira de sementes tradicionais do Estado de São Paulo

The I Landraces fair in S. Paulo took place in November, 2010. Right now, the director Adolfo Borges finished a excellent documentary about the Fair (in Portuguese).

To know more about the fair, please see here.

A I Feira de troca de sementes tradicionais do Estado de São Paulo aconteceu em Novembro de 2010; poucos dias atrás, o diretor Adolfo Borges completou um documentário muito bem feito sobre a feira.

Para saber mais sobre a feira, olha aqui.

Pianificazione partecipativa per la recuperazione della foresta sugli argini dei fiumiParticipatory planning to reconstruct riparian forestPlanejamento participativa para a recuperação da mata ciliar

Detail of a map, with the current use of the riverbank, done by the geoprocessing laboratory of the Instituto Socioambiental in 2011
Detail of a map, with the current use of the riverbank, done by the geoprocessing laboratory of the Instituto Socioambiental in 2011

The Instituto Socioambiental is right now implementing a project, called “Plano diretor para recomposição florestal visando à conservação de recursos hídricos da bacia hidrográfica do rio Ribeira de Iguape e Litoral sul” [Planning scheme for the forest reconstruction, aiming at the conservation of the water resources of the basin of the Ribeira river and the southern coast].

The project will define priority riverbank areas, to be reconstructed as riparian forest. The project involves representative of public bodies, farmers, trade unions, associations, among others, from about 20 municipalities of the Ribeira valley region, in the S. Paulo state. The project uses sound mapping tools, combined with participatory methodologies.

I’ve contributed as animator in two regional workshop, in Registro and Juquiá.

Agroforesta e micro-imprese sostenibiliAgroforestry and sustainable grassroots businessAgrofloresta e micro-negócios sustentáveis

Participants of the course. Picture by Luca Fanelli/ISAFebruary the 15th two training courses started: Agroforestry management plan (agroecology production) and Business plan of agroforestry products.  They are part of a set of training courses that integrate the component of the project Ecoturismo na Mata Atlântica [Ecotourism in the Atlantic Forest] aimed at smallholders of the Ribeira and Alto do Paranapanema basins; the Instituto Socioambiental is implementing this component. The Secretária do Meio Ambiente do Estado de S. Paulo [Environment Secretary of the S. Paulo state] commissioned this project, with resources of the Interamerican Bank of Development.

I’m organising the Agroforestry management plan course, while I’m organising and give the Business plan one. The objective of the first one is: “strengthen the agroecological and agroforestry experiences, widespread them, in order to provide environmental services, as well as agroecological products”; of the second one: “qualify the participants to plan and monitor, in a critical and systemic form, sustainable business with agroforestry products”.

Sicurezza alimentare e sviluppo sostenibile in Brasile… mediante la conservazione e l’uso sostenibile delle risorse genetiche vegetaliFood security and sustainable development in Brazil… by the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resourcesSegurança alimentar e desenvolvimento sustentável no Brasil… mediante a conservação e o uso sustentável dos recursos genéticos vegetal

The Instituto Socioambiental applied for the Benefit-sharing Fund of the International Treaty on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The project title is: “Food security and sustainable development in Brazil, and, in particular, among the indigenous and traditional people of Xingu and Ribeira basins, by the conservation and sustainable us of plant genetic resources” and will involve directly more than 160 smallholders.

I contributed to the proposal writing.

We suggest the following documents, in order to have deeper understanding on the issues addressed in the project:

* FAO (2010). The Second Report on the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Roma.

* Mariante, A. d. S., M. J. A. Sampaio, et al., Eds. (2009). State of the Brazil’s plant genetic resources. Second national report. Brasília, Embrapa – Ministério da Agricultura.

* FAO (2010). The State of Food Insecurity in the World. Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises. Roma.

* IBGE (2006). Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios. Segurança Alimentar 2004. Rio de Janeiro.

Noterelle statistiche sulla campagna italiana e brasilianaBrief statistical notes on the Italian and Brazilian countrysideBreves observações estatísticas sobre a campanha brasileira e italiana

La campagna italiana e brasiliana, due realtà diametralmente opposte. Certamente sì, ma può valer la pena dare un’occhiata ad alcuni dati statistici.

Il Brasile ha appena 3 volte tanto il numero di unità produttive, a fronte di un’area coltivata di 18 volte più grande. Dieci punti percentuali li separano se si guarda al tipo di conduzione, familiare o no, dell’unità di produzione; dunque, più unità produttive in Brasile non condotte dal proprietario.

Tipo di conduzione (n. aziende) Italia Brasile
Conduzione diretta del coltivatore/ Agricultura familiar 94% 84%
Conduzione con salariati (in economia)/ Agricultura não familiar 6% 16%
Altre forme / – 0,3%
Totale 1.679.439 5.175.489

L’Italia è nota per lo sminuzzamento delle proprietà, laddove il Brasile per i latifondi. Laddove la conduzione è diretta, in Italia, la dimensione media della proprietà è della metà dell’analogo brasiliano; ma nel caso della conduzione con salariati, l’estensione media in Brasile è di quasi sei volte tanto.

Estensione media per tipo di conduzione (ha) Italia Brasile
Conduzione diretta del coltivatore/ Agricultura familiar 7,9 18,4
Conduzione con salariati (in economia)/ Agricultura não familiar 53,3 309,2
Altre forme/ – 49,5
Totale (medio) 10,6 63,8
Totale 17.841.544 329.941.393
——- ——- ——-

Un dato molto interessante, presente per l’Italia e non per il Brasile, riguarda la forma di commercializzazione: del totale delle aziende italiane, l’81% commercializza la produzione; di questa parte, il 29% la commercializza direttamente.

E’ possibile che i dati presentati “nascondano” piuttosto che “svelare”: per esempio, molte tipologie di agricoltore, differentissime tra loro, sono incluse nella categoria di “agricultura familiar” in Brasile, e certamente, se alcune sono assimilabili al coltivatore italiano, molte non lo sono. Oppure, per citare un altro esempio: ad “ingrassare” notevolmente la media di ettari per agricoltore in Brasile contribuiscono gli appezzamenti del Nord, dove un piccolo produttore possiede normalmente un appezzamento di 100 ettari.

Ciò nonostante, proprio tali considerazioni confermano l’interesse di confrontare realtà così diverse, per comprende che cosa si nasconde e si svela dietro i numeri.


IBGE, Censo Agropecuário 2006. Agricultura Familiar. Primeiros Resultados, 2009

Istat, Indagine sulla struttura e produzione delle aziende agricole, 2007

Un’interessante missione di valutazione nella campagna di Minas GeraisAn interesting mission in the Eastern Minas Gerais countryside Uma missão de avaliação interessante, no Leste de Minas Gerais

Per il testo descrittivo, consulta la versione in inglese.

Leste de Minas region (Brazil). Landscape. Photo by: RETE-REDE team
La regione orientale di Minas Gerais (Brasil). Paesaggio. Foto di: equipe RETE-REDE
Zé Antonio, a peasant-researcher, looking at a jiló (Solanum gilo) leaf. Photo by: Luca Fanelli
Zé Antonio, un contadino-ricercatore, osserva una foglia di jiló (Solanum gilo)

A meeting of the group of organic farmers. Photo by: Luca Fanelli
Una riunione del gruppo di agricoltori biologici
Leste de Minas region (Brazil). Landscape. Photo by: RETE-REDE team
Leste de Minas region (Brazil). Landscape. Photo by: RETE-REDE team

During the second semester of 2010 I had the opportunity to know some places within the Leste de Minas region (Brazil). This region is very different to others where I worked. The countryside is characterised by a dominant crop, the coffee – as banana in the Ribeira Valley – however, the settlement pattern is more scattered. The petty producer families appear to be better off than those in the Ribeira Valley – and surprised me that the human development index of the municipalities I visited is lower (0,73) than the Ribeira valley HDI (0,75) – both of them are lower than the national average, of 0,766 (source: PNUD 2000).

It is interesting that the families better off produce, besides the coffee, many other goods: so, when you visit them, they could kindly give you some cheese, or rapadura (dried sugarcane juice). In this region there are some peasants with strong knowledge of organic farming; they are true researchers, who, with great creativity, carry on trial-and-error experiments. For that reason, here could be implemented with success the “campesino a campesino” (farmer to farmer) methodology, what is very different from, for example the Lower Amazon region.

Zé Antonio, a peasant-researcher, looking at a jiló (Solanum gilo) leaf. Photo by: Luca Fanelli
Zé Antonio, a peasant-researcher, looking at a jiló (Solanum gilo) leaf

Within a beautiful landscape, of dark green hills, it is a pity that the towns haven’t any beauty, any remnant of the past, and… even a bar where drink a very good local coffee.

In this region I monitored a project, developed by the Brazilian NGO REDE, and the Italian one, RETE, with the co-financing of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project takes place in the municipalities of Caratinga, Simonesia, Manhuaçu, São João de Manhuaçu e Conceição de Ipanema.

A meeting of the group of organic farmers. Photo by: Luca Fanelli
A meeting of the group of organic farmers

I was impressed by the achievement of the project, even if it started only one and an half year ago. One project result is, for example, the participation of organic farmers to a local fair; and, visiting some farmer – most of the people likes to spend a good time talking (prosando) – we can see some improvements, aimed at a sounder management of the production system.

Para a descrição da missão, ver a versão em Inglês.

Leste de Minas region (Brazil). Landscape. Photo by: RETE-REDE team
Região Leste de Minas (Brazil). Paisagem. Foto de: RETE-REDE team

Zé Antonio, a peasant-researcher, looking at a jiló (Solanum gilo) leaf. Photo by: Luca Fanelli
Zé Antonio, um agricultor-pesquisador, olhando para uma folha de jiló (Solanum gilo)

A meeting of the group of organic farmers. Photo by: Luca Fanelli
Uma reunião dos agricultores agroecológicos

La fiera di semi tradizionali ora arriva a S. PauloLandraces fair, now reaching the S. Paulo stateA feira de sementes tradicionais chega em São Paulo

The idea of a fair of landraces exchange in the S. Paulo State rose within the Seed workgroup of the Council of Organic Production of the S. Paulo State (CPOrg/SP). The Instituto Kairós (of São Paulo) and the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) organized the Fair, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Centro Paula Souza (body responsible for the professional training in the State).

Beyond organizing the fair, the Seed workgroup is discussing the forthcoming legislation about organic seeds.

Landraces fair in S. Paulo. Foto by Luca Fanelli / ISA

The I Feira de troca de sementes tradicionais/ crioulas do Estado de São Paulo took place in November the 4th, 2010, in the Espaço Cultural Tendal da Lapa. Participated to the event: Ribeira Valley quilombola (afro-descendant), farmers from Cunha (who, supported by the Serracima NGO, orgnized too a landraces exchange fair), from Botucatu, Ibitinga and Pederneiras (invited by the Associação Biodinâmica), from Itaberà (Coapri co-operative); from the Fazenda Figueira (Minas Gerais), from the S. Paulo metropolitan region (especially from the Embu das Artes and Parelheiros neighborhood).

On the stalls you could find more than 150 etnovarieties of seeds and seedlings: many varieties of maize and beans, not many of rice (these, from the Ribeira Valley and from Cunha), some vegetables varieties (20 from a farmer of Ibitinga, some others from Cunha), seeds and seedlings of different kinds of trees, seedlings of sweet potato, cará, sugar cane and cassava, mainly from the Ribeira Valley.

The fair showed the great wealth of realities within the State, working with landraces. At the same time, demonstrated the challenges to strengthen the event, as the involvement of other groups and the improvement of the number of etnovarieties, especially of the less represented species.

But the main challenge is actually to strengthen the groups engaged with the conservation and use of landraces, that has to bear on the farmers’ commitment and on suitable public policies, as recommended in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Evento gastronomico a S. PauloGastronomic event in S. PauloEvento gastronômico a S. Paulo

My badge at the Semana Mesa SP

Semana Mesa SP is one of the most important Latin American gastronomic events; in 2010 comes to its 4th edition; this year issue is “What gastronomy could do for the plantet?”, an incipient, but clear stance to put gastronomy outside the restaurants walls.

I participated to the event presenting the piracui (fish flour) Tamuá both in the Instituto Slow Food São Paulo stall and the Gustavo Rocha panel “Poke de filhote com guyoza de piracuí ao molho de açaí [Amazonian catfish* poke and piracui guyoza with açai** sauce]”, and speaking about landraces in the Claudia Mattos panel “Petit Gateau Nativo [Native petit gateau]”, that presented an innovative way to combine rice and beans.

* Branchyplathystoma filamentosum.

** Pulp of the Euterpe oleracea palm fruits.