In December, approximately 90 youth were trained at the Rural Family Homes. The teaching institutions are part of the Governance Plan implemented by the Bahia Southern Lowlands Environmental Protection Area Mosaic Program for Development and Growth Integrated with Sustainability (PDCIS), supported by the Odebrecht Foundation together with public and private partners. During a three-year period, the youth learned about rural administration, cooperativism, soil management, irrigation, drainage and crop cultivation.
The Rural Family Homes offer training based on methodologies such as Trade-Off Teaching: those benefitted study one week full-time, with both theoretical and practical classes, and another two weeks on their family’s property, applying the new knowledge acquired. The proposal is for the students to become the leaders of their own businesses from the very first year of their training.
FROM TRAINING TO PRODUCTION
In December, Leonardo Soares dos Santos, age 18, earned a diploma in Agribusiness from the Igrapiúna Rural Family Home (CFR-I). Resident of the community of São João, located in Ituberá, he revealed that his family’s encouragement and a love for working the land are what led him to join CFR-I.
On his parent’s property, Leonardo planted one hectare of heart of palm. The first harvest will be in June 2015 and already has a destination: the Bahia Southern Lowlands Heart of Palm Producers’ Cooperative (COOPALM), of which he became member. In partnership with Rafaela Silva, age 18, who also recently completed his training at CFR-I, he sells organic produce at the municipal fair to complement his monthly income.
To desire to develop a business in the rural region was also a dream shared by Lucas Rocha da Silva, age 20, resident of the community of Cachoeira Grande in Presidente Tancredo Neves. Silva concluded the Technical Qualification in Agriculture at the Presidente Tancredo Neves Rural Family Home (CFR-PTN). “When I began to learn more about Agriculture, I shared the knowledge with my father and our production improved,” he revealed.
The young man works in partnership with Adilson Santos, age 19, who also studied at CFR-PTN. They are members of the Presidente Tancredo Neves Rural Producers’ Cooperative (COOPATAN) and grow banana, cassava and manioc. “We overcame the initial obstacles and we will grow even more as entrepreneurs,” said Silva.
Elvis Souza, age 18, has the same idea. “All of my income will be set aside to buy new lands,” said Souza. The youth recently finished the Technical Professional Education Course in Forests at the Agroforest Family Home (Cfaf) in Nilo Peçanha, and grows cacao, guarana and banana. The latter will be sold with the support of COOPATAN, of which he recently became member. “With this incentive, we can live in a dignified way in the rural area,” said Souza.