Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
What we do

Our projects

HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Agricultural production and market systems» in Brazil

There are extreme social and economic disparities in Brazil. Some 60% of the rural population live below the poverty line. Unfair land distribution is one of the reasons for this. Roughly 4.8 million Brazilian families are landless, while some 4 000 large landowners possess over 85 million hectares of land. Families who have lived for generations on their land, though most of them without land titles, are systematically expelled to make way for large soya, sugar cane and eucalyptus plantations and for extensive cattle farming. Brazil's biodiversity is under severe threat and social problems have become exacerbated. HEKS/EPER helps improve the food security and incomes of the rural population and supports the building of a strong civil society.

HEKS/EPER in Brazil

Facts

Through 60 submissions to the authorities on behalf of 30’000 people in 2019, HEKS/EPER championed their land rights, access to resources, as well as the right to a say in decision-making. Twenty-three per cent of the submissions were already accepted in 2019.

Sustainable agriculture and greater biodiversity safeguard livelihoods over the long term. HEKS/EPER projects therefore ensured that 98 per cent of the land was managed in an environment-friendly manner. In the wake of massive fires in the rain forest, HEKS/EPER is assisting 3900 people by providing seeds, seedlings, foodstuffs and medical supplies.

HEKS/EPER is active primarily in rural areas, where prosperity and quality of life for the poorest are closely bound up with properly functioning agriculture. This is often not the case, however, as depleted soil, poor transport routes or lacking know-how hamper profitable agricultural production. HEKS/EPER helps people engage in profitable and ecological agriculture. This calls for sustainable production techniques and a great diversity of products so as to be able to react to environmental risks and market changes. In order that produce can be marketed successfully, HEKS/EPER enhances smallholders' knowledge of the market and militates for market systems in which smallholders are able to survive. In so doing HEKS/EPER mediates between producing, processing and subcontracting enterprises.