A large steppe to the north of Sao Paolo, Cerrado hugely participates in Brazil’s economic development: livestock farming, mines and eucalyptus for cellulose and charcoal from steel factories. The only problem is that small farmers have been sacrificed for the benefit of the exports business.

In the Montes Claros region, families have created the Centre d’agriculture alternative (Alternative Agriculture Centre) (CAA), which attempts to give back a decent life to Cerrado’s farmers, as well as a future for their children.

The Audemars Piguet Foundation is financing three parts of the Entraide Protestante Suisse’s (Swiss Protestant Mutual Aid) programme: training young farmers, restoring biodiversity and reforesting land.

Only biological agriculture offers a future to these small farmers. This is the conviction of the CAA. To this end, young people must re-learn agricultural techniques respecting the environment. The first stage of the training project financed by the Foundation has just been completed, blending theoretical training and practical work experience.

However, the ravaged lands must be rehabilitated in order to become profitable. Families involved in the project have received the seeds and the necessary training to create nurseries for trees, vegetables and grains that are adapted to degraded soil and climatic changes.