Elvis Souza Luz, 19, and his father, Paulo Pinheiro de Souza, do not hide that life is taking a turn filled with hope and achievements in agriculture. The youth graduated from the course of Technical Education in Forests of the Agroforestry Family House (CFAF, in portuguese) and associated himself to the President Tancredo Neves Rural Producers’ Cooperative (Coopatan). He implemented in 2014 his productive project consisting of one hectare of Plantain (the equivalent to 1,000 feet of fruits) with the support from the monitors of the educational institution. They assisted Elvis in preparing the project and selecting inputs such as fertilizer and seedlings, via the Tribute to the Future Program, one of the Odebrecht Foundation’s programs.
Elvis and his father Paulo do not hide that life is taking a turn filled with hope and achievements in agriculture. Late last year, the young rural entrepreneur finalized his production and delivered about 25,000 kg of plantain to Coopatan. According to Elvis, the result of his first crop followed his expectations. "I was able to deliver it in accordance with the action plan that I had agreed with the cooperative. With the income, I am already beginning to invest in other areas," he explains. About the support of the Tribute to the Future Program, he points out that it was essential for him to turn his plantation plans into reality. "[without it] It would be impossible for us to implement the project because we only had at our disposal our family’s own labor force and area, we lacked the inputs," stresses Elvis.
In addition to the aid of his parents, a faming family, Elvis relies on the support of his sister Everlane and brother Elton. Both followed suit and are now in the second of three years of CFAF. The family is a model in the Paulista community, located in the Nilo Peçanha municipality (BA). "It's very good to know that we are an example and we are contributing to the development of our region," he says. According to the youth, neighbors make visits to his plantation to ask about the fertilization and cultivation of plantain. "It is rewarding because I can pass on my experiences and the farming techniques I have been absorbing so far through the knowledge I acquired in Agroforestry Rural Family House," Elvis states, proud of himself.
Elvis, the one on the left, with his father and brothers. Together, they are transforming their realities CFAF and Coopatan are part of the Odebrecht Foundation’s Governance Pact through the Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability (PDCIS, in Portuguese). The cooperative operates in two foci: development of production technology and its organization with posterior processing in loco, targeting added value and higher income to members.