Climate Change has no boundaries:Help rural Brazil

Sep 21, 2011

Farmers find new commercialization channels

Farmers selling products in the Pintadas Open Fair
Farmers selling products in the Pintadas Open Fair

Commercialization of products is a key challenge in under-served communities of semi-arid Brazil. Farmers find it difficult to transport their products to local fairs because they usually have very precarious transportaion means. In addition, the commercialization process requires investments, organizational and managerial skills.

The "Pintadas Open Fair" happens every monday from 6 am to 2 pm. This is the mais commercial and trade event in the municipality of Pintadas where locals can buy fresh fruits and vegetables and a variety of different items. However, most of the fruits and vegetables sold in the market come from outside the region  (over 95%). The reason is the unstructured agricultural production in the municipality of Pintadas that seriously undermines local food security, especially under an intensification of the dry periods due to climate change.

Through the CEMINA initiative, local small farmers have managed to have access to knowledge and technology to boost their agricultural production. Today, over 30 farmers have access to irrigation, drought-resistant seeds, water pumps and shadowing systems. They have recently gather together to overcome the commercialization barriers through a collective commercialization of their products in the Pintadas Open Fair. The initiative has been a real success, as local people do support local production and prefer it compared to products coming from outside the region. All fruits and vegetables are sold very quickly, giving an excellent incentive to local farmers to continue doing and expanding their production.

Congratulations to all Pintadas farmers and keep up with the good work!


Jul 5, 2011

Postcard from In the Field

Flor with one of the irrigation hoses
Flor with one of the irrigation hoses

The sertão of Bahia is a semi-arid area of the state where climate change has made rain and drought more and more erratic. Many people in the sertão make a living on subsistence farming, which can be quite difficult when there is little access to water. Many farmers grow "drought crops", using no water or irrigation systems. Farmers who use this method have to work extremely hard with the risk of not getting any return.

Six years ago, Flor Oswaldo, a small land-owner outside the town of Pinatadas, Bahia, grew his crops this way. He had water on his property but had no way to access it. Flor had to get water with his horse drawn cart every weekend in order to have water in his house for the week. As you can imagine, for a busy farmer Flor's time is valuable and it was inconvenient to have to fetch the water every week. Six years ago, Flor got a micro loan from Adapta Sertão to be able to buy an irrigation system. This system includes a solar powered pump that pumps water from dams that the Bahian state government has built on his property to be able to water his crops. This has allowed Flor to be able to grow produce such as beans, corn, bananas, cassava, tomatoes, passion fruit, and more. Flor is also able to use the solar panels for his pump to provide electricity for his house.

Now that Flor doesn´t have to get water every week, he is able to dedicate more time to his farm, and able to relax on the weekends! With the new irrigation system, he is earning minimum wage by selling his produce to the co-op that Adapta Sertão runs. The micro-loan irrigation project and the co-op run by Adapta Sertão are just two examples of the active civil society that exists in Pintadas. Flor is proof that this civil society is really working for the citizens it strives to help.

Flor showing ITF traveler Josh irrigation hose
Flor showing ITF traveler Josh irrigation hose
May 26, 2011

Connecting potable water to rural schools

Dear Valued Donors,

Adapta Sertao is happy to report the ongoing initiatives and partnerships we have with local schools as collectively, we integrate and promote sustainable practices and education.

Currently many Brazilian schools within rural and remote areas, especially those arid and semi-arid regions, suffer a shortage of potable water. Many of these schools lack a sufficient source of clean, drinkable water and thus, coupled with sporadic rainfall and poor water management and infrastructure, stems a challenging situation into one that is inherently more complex. 

The Brazilian Federal government has initiated and provided financial support in launching the "Agua na Escola" program (Water in School). Dedicated to improving water supply and access for at-risk schools, the Brazilian government will implement a number of rainwater harvesting systems throughout several rural schools. The system collects water from the rooftop in a large tank, stores and processes it for future use. The schools will have a reliable source of clean water that can be used for cooking meals or drinking purposes.

Adapta Sertao recognizes the efforts of the Federal government and has been tirelessly working toward supporting and shaping an important sustainable development strategy. Adapta Sertao has co-financed the installation of three rainwater harvesting systems linked to three small irrigation systems in the municipality of Pintadas, semi-arid region of Bahia. The "irrigation" component is an innovation that is not part of Agua na Escola and one which has been introduced by Adapta Sertao. Adapta Sertao’s objective for installing efficient irrigation systems (drip irrigation) in the schools is to show children that it is possible to grow vegetables and staple crops more efficiently compared to local irrigation technologies that are still very rudimentary such as hand irrigation. The aim of installing efficient irrigation in the schools is to develop a more contextualized education in the schools of the region, by showing children strategies that can really work for the local population and that can improve their quality of life.

Help us provide education and enhance one of the most precious and finite resources in the world!


Adapta Sertao


Mar 25, 2011

Adapta Sertao at work in the field!

Students engaged in a lesson about climate change
Students engaged in a lesson about climate change

Dear valued donors,

We are enthusiastic to report and share our recent experience in the field!

The Adapta Sertao team visited Pintadas, Bahia last week where we engaged in community development, education and awareness workshops, facilitated interviews and visited farmer’s cooperatives.

Adapta Sertao has been working in partnership with the Secretary of Education in Pintadas by facilitating group discussions with other academic and various leaders of the community. Last week, Adapta Sertao spoke with the educators about the methodology and processes toward creating and implementing material on sustainable agricultural production.

Establishing new school material and disseminating resources is a costly venture for the small municipality. We rely on generous donors for their continued support throughout our initiatives and believe that education is a fundamental and powerful tool in spreading and developing knowledge. Through education in the classroom, future generations will have the capacity to understand and implement sustainable agricultural practices that will ensure food security, employment, and community cohesion.

Thank-you kindly for your interest and continued support.


Adapta Sertao

Adapta Sertao meets with local Pintadas teachers
Adapta Sertao meets with local Pintadas teachers


Mar 2, 2011

Climate Change Affecting Brazilian Communities

Testing the benefits of an irrigation system
Testing the benefits of an irrigation system

Dear Valued Donor,

Our project, Adapta Sertão, is truly making a positive difference within rural and vulnerable Brazilian communities who often experience extreme consequences due to climate change impacts.

Pintadas, Bahia is a semi-arid region that is among the poorest in Brazil and where many communities first feel the impacts of climate change.

Adapta Sertão´s mission is to implement and enhance alternative and sustainable agricultural production, food security and the local economy of Pintadas. The project empowers small farmers, women and youth by providing education, tools and resources needed to mitigate and adapt to the threatening and dynamic affects of climate change variability.

With over 50 successful pilot projects within Pintadas, Adapta Sertão has developed a pro-poor agricultural production system for those communities who are largely affected by climate change. Adapta Sertão ultimately supports communities living in arid and semi arid regions adapt to environmental conditions under current climate change challenges. Adapta Sertão has been recognized as an outstanding international project that seeks to address sustainable development and was awarded a winner at the 2008 SEED Awards.

Adapta Sertão is quickly moving forward and requires your support so we can empower farmers, stimulate communities and feed families for generations to come.

Thank-you kindly for your support and generosity,


The Adapta Sertão Team


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Thais Corral

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Rio de Janeiro, RJ Brazil

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