The initial phase of the EDP Renováveis Rural program concludes with great success

During the ceremony, the 58 families who participated in the program received their certificates, and attendees viewed an exhibition of the agroecological products developed during the phase.

This phase of the initiative took place in the communities surrounding the Baixa do Feijão wind complex, and its results were extremely positive. It resulted in a 58% increase in the communities’ income, the implementation of 20 agroecological production units and the assimilation of 38% of the marketing practices by the ​rural farmers.

In his address during the ceremony, the Country Manager of EDP Renováveis ​​Brasil, Renato Volponi, welcomed the participants and looked forward to the future. He noted that, although the program has ended, it is just the beginning for the families who took part, who will now be able to put into practice all they have learned during the program.

In addition to the tangible results noted above, there were many significant intangible results for the communities involved. Local farmers and their families learned a great deal about different farming and marketing techniques, and how to use the new farming equipment installed. Not only did the farmers’ income increase, but so did their self-esteem and enthusiasm for the future. Of the participants, 53% were women, a significant statistic that will contribute to female empowerment efforts in the area. 

Apart from the invaluable training imparted during the first phase of the program, an agricultural technology known as PAIS was installed. This allows each farmer to cultivate their produce on a small portion of land in a a mandala shape, without the use of chemicals. So far, 20 PAIS units have been successfully installed and put into practice, helping to improve the sustainability of agricultural practices in the area.

The closing ceremony was not the first EDP Renováveis Rural event celebrated at the Baixa do Feijão wind complex. In late March, EDPR Brasil held two farmers’ markets to showcase a variety of fresh produce and the new farming structures that were installed during the program. Citizens from the municipalities of Jandaíra and Parazinho perused and purchased vegetables ranging from arugula, carrots, squash and cassava to green beans, custard apples, acerola and umbu.

These events and initiatives represent the first of the four phases that comprise the EDP Renováveis ​​Rural program; the next two will take place in the communities around the JAU and Aventura wind complexes in Rio Grande de Norte, and those surrounding the Babilonia wind farm in Bahia.

This program is part of EDP Renováveis’ efforts to meet its sustainable development goals in rural communities surrounding its wind farms. The principal objective of the program is to create jobs and generate income for local residents, through extensive training programs aimed at improving farmers’ efforts at commercialization and sustainability.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are encouraged at every level, with participants learning agroecological food-handling techniques, product marketing strategies and how to participate in government farming programs. In addition, participants study water resource management and the development of the local productive chain. Upon completion of the program, each of them receives an entrepreneurship qualification.

The EDP Renováveis Rural team is exceptionally pleased with the results of this first phase. Especially heartening are the positive effects on the empowerment of local women, as well as the self-esteem and overall outlook of local farmers and their families. The program has also improved the public perception of the backwoods region of Brazil and shown that it can be highly productive. Looking toward the future, EDP Renováveis is excited to witness the inevitable multiplying effect of the program, as the beneficiaries share their experience and knowledge with other communities and thus expand the program’s reach.