Thursday, December 27, 2012

Brazil: Women's participation strengthens and multiplies Agroforestry

Women become protagonists of agroforestry, improving the living conditions of their families and increasing their participation in the spaces of production, marketing and advocacy. Where the leading role of the female has been exercises, success has been achieved.
It is not just today that the active participation of women in Agroforestry Systems (AFS) supported by Cooperafloresta - Agroforestry Farmers Association of Bar Turvo/SP and Adrianople/PR has contributed to the success of the work. In all cities where it operates, the female lead has been exercised. Agroflorestar Project, sponsored by Petrobras Environmental Program, is supporting the Association in working with women farmers, and quilombolas.

The initiative mobilizes hundreds of women who work from the sustainable management of natural resources in agroforestry, the realization of joint efforts, in accounting and organization of collective marketing of food. The result is due to a continuing process of organizing, training and technical assistance for the development of agroforestry, participatory certification and collective marketing.
Among the benefits generated by the integration of women in agroforestry practice is access to their own income, which has contributed to the advancement of their economic emancipation, which strengthens and empowers them to deal with violence against women, as well as to expand its involvement with the political spaces of social intervention.
This commitment of women from agricultural families in agroforestry articulates the transformation of social class with the change in relations with nature and the construction of new social relations of gender. This is expressed in symbols of Agroforestry Systems (AFS) that we support. At the same time, it contributes much to the transformation of social reality, as women themselves entered in SAFs Cooperafloresta and supported by the project Agroflorestar recalls Nelson Correia Neto, agronomist, technician for Cooperafloresta.
The everyday reality
Leni Rodrigues de Sena Pamplona, 44, a member of the Group Agroforestry Blue Magpie / MST, located on the coast of Paraná, recounts her experience. "There has to be a woman to impose order," she says. She receives all the produce twice a week through the farming families merchandise, brands the products and then sends them to the locations where they are sold.
"At these times, women magnify the work of men who no longer work alone. They count on our support. I see it every day here. The production more than doubles since beforehand, most men, besides having to work on other activities, did not have the support of women. I feel valued, respected and I'm proud of what I do," Leni adds.
The voice of women
The agroforestry farmer Olga Maria de Figueiredo says that what she likes best, and along with her husband produces the food on their plot, is to collaborate so that others who do not know how  agroforestry works follow suit. "Today we sent 15 varieties of food to the Fair. Thus, we showed how women can grow food and contribute to ensuring the survival of the family," says Olga, who is also part of the Group Agroforestry Blue Magpie / MST.
In Barra Turvo it is no different. There, where exist the headquarters of Cooperafloresta, since 2003 the SAF has been changing day by day the life of women. Dolíria Rodrigues, from the Quilombo Terra Seca and Ribeirao Grande, states: "We learned how to grow and prepare much. So many meals that do not fit onto a single table. This knowledge cannot be just for us. We must cherish and show other women how much you can do with Agroforestry," she says, satisfied.
"Today, we want to continue in the field, producing food, preserving life, species and nature, developing experiences: agro-ecology, biodiversity preservation, the use of medicinal plants, seeds of recovery as the heritage of peoples in the service of humanity, healthy eating as sovereign nations, diversification of production, the appreciation of the work of women in agroforestry," adds Dolíria.
About Agroflorestar
The Project adopts the tool Agloflorestar farming and sustainable agricultural production, since it does not allow monocultures, pesticides or transgenics and guarantees the work of sustainable agroforestry farmers. It is the development, implementation and maintenance of productive ecosystems that maintain diversity, strength, and stability of natural ecosystems, promoting energy, housing and food in harmony with the environment.
Josi Basso
Translated by Olga Santos
Portuguese version

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