A coherent agri-energy policy to foster social inclusion for peasant families: the role of Petrobras on the João Câmara and Ceará-Mirim sites (state of Rio Grande do Norte)
AbstractThis article depicts the improvement in living conditions for those families of peasants (the “landless peasants”) who have benefited from agrarian reform (termed “assentamentos” i.e. homesteads) through the creation of farming cooperatives. The farming cooperative examined herein was supported by the Petrobas group following the guidelines of the Brazilian National Biofuels Program. This program seeks to foster biofuels production among peasant farmers in Brazil's semi arid regions. The present research project comprises a field study which describes the aforesaid program's evolution and, more critically, ascertains the conditions requisite for success. Several crucial conditions stand forth: 1) First, convincing peasants to join the project; in this regard, a charismatic leader sharing the same social origins as the farming families has played a major role in gaining their confidence. 2) Second, developing a coherent set of value-adding activities that incorporate a range of by-products and waste products (from sunflower crops grown for biofuels, a number of corollary activities have arisen: honey, animal feed and fish farming). 3) Finally Petrobas's essential role as a partially state-owned corporation which has implemented a policy of social and environmental responsibility (assigning of a full-time engineer to oversee the project, providing farm equipment rentals needed for the crops as well as paying the salaries for two agronomic technicians working for the cooperative)
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Date of creation: 2010
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biofuel ; family-based farming ; cooperatives ; social and environmental responsibility ; social inclusion;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2010-11-20 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2010-11-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2010-11-20 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2010-11-20 (Environmental Economics)
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