Sustainable Urban Global Initiative (SUGI) Waste FEW ULL and Brazil (Zika)
Projects research visit to Sao Paulo, Brazil, 8-15 June, 2019
Professor Sue Charlesworth, Drs Jana Fried and Matthew Blackett and Masters by Research student Rebecca Lewis visited Sao Paulo for two projects funded by Newton Institutional Links (Brazil, Zika) and Belmont (SUGI WASTE FEW ULL). We were hosted by Professor Ester Dal Poz of the University of Campinas who organised a fascinating set of field visits followed by research seminars at the University. Ester is responsible for one of the 4 Urban Living Labs (ULL) which make up the focus of the SUGI project in which the nexus between Food, Energy and Water is investigated in order to close wasteful loops in terms of resource production and use.
Field visits in Sao Paulo. First of all, in the Parelheiros region, 40 km to the SW of Sao Paulo city, we visited a cooperative, comprised of some 400 small holders producing a variety of fruits, salad vegetables and greens which were grown 50:50 agroecological: conventional. The cooperative also grew native rainforest plants to be used to conserve the area.
They also had poly tunnels where they undertook experiments with various produce such as sweet potatoes, onions and lettuce.
We then headed deep into the rainforest to visit an indigenous Guarani indian village visit arranged by the Sao Paulo City Food Supply, a partner in the Sao Paulo ULL. There we saw how this community is conserving the forest by removing invasive pine trees and eucalyptus and growing food agroecologically as shown in the images.
Travelling to Ibiuna, a mainly agricultural area (Motto: A agricultura é nosso forte (Agriculture is our strength)), but still classified as “urban” since it is situated in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan area, we met Edson on his 1 hectare farm. Here he grows maize, lettuce and cabbage agroecologically. He reduced pesticide use by planting cover crops to protect the produce from insect damage.