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Pasture became forest

A Southern Bahia Lowlands farming area started to be recovered in 2012; 2,500 trees have now been planted and a spring restored

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An impressive forest, with 2,500 trees, has grown on the land of farmer, Jovan Nascimento, age 46, who lives in the Juliana community, located in the municipality of Piraí do Norte (Bahia). His family was the first to be supported by the Land Conservation Organization (OCT in Portuguese) to restore a spring in 2012. Since then, 240 have been undergoing restoration in the Pratigi Environmental Protection Area (EPA), a region of the Southern Bahia Lowlands.

The OCT encouraged this reforestation through its Environmental Services Payment Program, an initiative which offers guidance and financial support to farmers, for the integrated planning of their properties. With constant follow-up by technical assistants, Jovan received approximately BRL 1,700 for the 2,300 trees planted on 1.4 hectares – further encouragement for the commitment to care for and keep the area conserved. A further 200 saplings were established in 2017, making the forest, which includes native Atlantic Rainforest species, such as jacaranda, inga and sucupira, even richer.


Photos of the farmer’s area before it was recovered in 2012, and showing the impressive transformation, which has now taken place

In addition to restoring the spring, the OCT encouraged the introduction of an Agroforestry System – a form of planting which combines agricultural crops with tree species and stops using pesticides – so that the producers can increase their income. Therefore, he combined cocoa production with bitter cassava, banana, guarana, cupuaçu, rubber trees and achoite and saw his annual revenue leap from BRL 1,950 in 2012, when he grew a single crop, to BRL 12,491 (around $ 4,000) in 2016, having also attained BRL 19,123 in 2015. “I became a rural entrepreneur; the owner of my own business and not forgetting care for the environment”, he said. The OCT takes part in the Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability (PDCIS in Portuguese), created and promoted by the Odebrecht Foundation.

 

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