A Brazilian Model to Fight Poverty and Pollution at the Same Time

Cascata, a 587-hectare settlement run by the Brazilian land reform institute (Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária) (Incra) in the state of Bahia, will be presented at a UN conference in Dubai at the beginning of 2006 as an example of how poverty reduction and environmental protection can operate hand in hand.

The Cascata settlement project, where 40 families live, is a new model of natural resource exploitation without ecosystem degradation. The main products at the settlement are cattle and cacau, along with local tropical fruit, such as cajá.

At the beginning of this year a "biodigestor" was installed, which transforms cattle waste into gas and biofertilizer. The gas is used to dry cacau, a process that would usually use wood-burning heaters. Cascata cacau is being exported to Switzerland with a seal of quality, certifying that it is organically produced.

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