Urban agriculture in Brazil’s favelas
Deep in the heart of favela (shanty town) communities in the metropolis of Sao Paulo, Brazil, seeds of transformation are beginning to sprout
Mar 27, 2012
Established in 2004 by local social entrepreneur Hans Dieter Temp, an organisation called Cidades sem Fome (Cities Without Hunger) is working to reduce hunger and joblessness among some of the most economically deprived areas of Sao Paulo, through urban agriculture.
Local community members are given the tools and training to start producing fruit and vegetables on unused land acquired by the organisation. This not only brings much needed quality produce and food security to the community, but it is also addressing the issue of unemployment – a constant problem in Brazil’s favelas.
Eduardo Ribeiro, a young man who lives in the east zone of Sao Paulo, has seen the benefits of the organisation’s work directly at home. “Since the project became established it has changed a lot for us here,” he says. “There is now more healthy food available at the market and it’s great knowing that it was grown by some of my cousins, who now have more skills for other jobs in the future.”
According to the economic league table published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research in December 2011, Brazil has now leapfrogged the UK to become the sixth largest global economy and one of the world’s fastest growing. This booming economy, alongside recent political policies, is contributing to a better quality of life for lower social classes. However, continuing inflation of world food prices along with a lack of access to healthy fresh produce is a growing concern in expanding cities like Sao Paulo.