Reflecting on our two weeks in Brazil, I think about the diversity
of opinions and approaches to sustainable agriculture and poverty
reduction. Healthy debates abounded on the bus rides in and out of the
Brazilian sertao. Two recent blog posts reminded me of this - Adah and Aaron had VERY different takes on the exact same experience that the two of them had on Baltazar's farm.
Aaron took the self-proclaimed, more 'capitalist,' Wall Street approach, critiquing the model of farming in rural, arid regions of Brazil, while Adah viewed Baltazar as a flourishing entrepreneur and innovator who has "implemented many new technologies and farming methods" on his small plot of land. Like Aaron, Adah also took a market oriented approach, reflecting that "These small farmers took on a new way of farming, not, as one would perhaps assume for survival, but to carve out new market opportunities."Both question how sustainable the method of development is when it is heavily supported by a local NGO, and what the role of the NGO is, while acknowledging that there aren't many other options for farmers in this region - I wonder what else can be done in a region where options are so limited, in a place that's been left behind by the rest of Brazil. I muse about the drought-stricken 'Environmental Migrants' of the region.
I encourage you to read the posts and comment on both... you can visit Aaron's and Adah's posts to see my critique and those of others.... consider leaving some thoughts of your own!