Since we last reported on the concepts of goat dairy production and salt grass farming in Morada Nova, meetings have been held with both the mayor and Secretary of Agriculture to finalize these community development strategies. Five communities will take part with the village of Terra Nova leading the way. Beyond the farming of salt grass as food for the goat herds, new crops of pitaya (also known as dragon fruit, pictured above) and acerola (a cherry-like fruit) will be planted and harvested as cash crops. The goals of this pilot project are to improve the farming and herding processes, teach families in each of the communities the best practices, and track the economic development and results of these efforts. The pilot project is set to begin this month.
In addition to this project, Jacob’s Well is establishing another university partnership with Brazil’s Insituto De Permacultura to understand, teach and promote sustainable agricultural processes. Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles that leverage the best attributes of a local community and landscape. In other words, the permaculture approach is to optimize what a community has to offer in terms of farmland, access to markets, and the community itself to create the best possible agricultural outcomes. This is a process we are using more in the U.S. as well, making better decisions on what crops are grown where based on available water, soil, market access, etc. It’s exciting that Jacob’s Well is taking this kind of valuable learning and partnership to the communities that need it most!
As mentioned in our January newsletter, we need additional monthly support to hire and deploy project managers to implement these new projects in the 3 regions. Please consider joining our support team as any monthly amount will be put to full use in the drought region of Brazil!