Ten young Brazilian farmers, nine men and one woman, between the ages of 18 and 24, in Espitito Santo, Southeast region, are the new owners of an area of 58 hectares where they intend to grow corn, beans, cassava and coffee. Because there is abundant water, it is also possible that they will engage in aquaculture.
The youths, who have training in agriculture, formed an association and enrolled in the Farm Credit program’s “First Farm” project, which is run by the Ministry of Agrarian Development.
That made it possible for them to get loans of US$ 48,000 (144,000 reais) to buy the land and US$ 12,000 (36,000 reais) to start planting. The loans should be paid back in 14 years.
Fabiano Kempfer of the ministry’s Youth Policies Division says that the present administration considers it a priority to find ways to deal with the problem of youth who abandon rural areas.
Getting them to become productive members of society as farmers is part of the the country’s economic development strategy, he says.
“This is something that has never been done before. The First Farm program not only keeps young people on the farm, it gives them the chance to study modern farming techniques that will consolidate and strengthen family farming enterprises,” explains Kempfer.
One of the young men, Luís Rogério Rodrigues, says that both his father and grandfather never were able to have their own property. “It was a dream they had that never happened. But for me it is coming true,” he said.
Reporter:Rosamélia de Abreu
Translator: Allen Bennett