We elaborate and develop our operating strategy through constant and close interaction with communities, youth and farmers. In almost ten years acting in the field, we learned many lessons which we use to improve our approach and make our activities more effective.
Through interaction with the public benefited we understand which are the most common and relevant challenges in the scene so that they can start and develop their enterprises and projects:
- They do not count with essential and proper tools and abilities, cannot analyze the context and identify opportunities in the local scene and do not feel able to develop an enterprise or a project by themselves; they feel supportless to implant changes in the practices and traditional ways to produce and act in the field.
- Even when they realize there is an opportunity and come to organize a plan or project to seize it, they do not have the conditions demanded by banks and conventional funds of microfinance to take a loan and invest in implantation;
- In order to have success in undertaking business in such a hostile environment, farmers and young people need to work together, cooperate with one another and form networks and partnerships among them and with other entrepreneurs and organizations;
- To overcome challenges in undertaking business in semiarid regions and in communities that are in majority very far from one another and practically isolated in relation to communication and access, entrepreneurs need to complement traditional knowledge with modern tools and practices, socio-environmental technologies and solutions that can contribute through inventiveness and innovation to help them develop techniques.
Based on these for main challenges, we built a strategy to approach them, offering services to young rural entrepreneurs and farmers with access to:
This way, all activities of Abel represent strategic actions in one of these four operating areas.
Our operating strategy is divided in two programs: one to act with family farmers and another specific for young people. In both we provide access to knowledge, credit, networks and technologies, with necessary adaptations for each public.
Young Rural Entrepreneur
Creates opportunities for the development of rural enterprises by young people and with an integrated approach, works with youth’s entrepreneurial skills.
The access to knowledge, oriented credit, networks and technologies, operating strategy of Abel, are made possible through entrepreneurial training, access to Fund Veredas, participation in the Network of Young Rural Entrepreneurs and access to information and communication technologies so that young entrepreneurs find proper and favorable conditions for their acting.
The program Rural Solutions seeks to contribute to local development of rural communities through the cooperation among actors of civil society and the integration of innovative and feasible solutions in many dimensions of development (social, economic, environmental and cultural).
This program improves individual capacities (farmers) and collective (rural communities) so that solutions are created, optimized, contextualized and implemented in an integrated way, in network and complementing one another towards local development in attended communities. This represents turning local actors into tools for development.
The solutions of living with semiarid are identified according to demands, opportunities and potentials of the attended communities in the areas of: water resources, family farming and local governance.
In the area of water resources, Adel implements solutions in communities to guarantee the human right to water – either for human consumption or for production use. Knowing to use water resources available is an essential competence to the prosperous living with the environmental and economic reality of the semiarid. About 20% of the population in Brazilian Northeast has no access to water
In the area of family farming, structuring activities of production chains and implementation of local productive arrangements are developed based on the exam of economic vocations and traditional knowledge intrinsic to the local productive culture, aiming to increase productivity and profitability in family farming.
In the area of local governance, organizational instances are strengthened and collective structures are implemented having as main reference the experience of revolving community funds. Rural communities cannot articulate their vocations and resources in a way to cooperatively think of development strategies based in strengthening local human and social relations.
The access of farmers to knowledge, oriented credit, networks and technologies is promoted through training and technical consultancy; Revolving Community Funds, Cooperative Networks and the use of socio-environmental technologies.
Training and technical consultancy
The program Rural Solutions promotes training of farmers and technical consultancy in production and management of enterprises. It shares new knowledge with farmers, such as: techniques of sustainable production, associativism, financial education, management, benefiting, trading and value adding.
Revolving Community Funds
Revolving Community Funds are implemented with the aim of maximize productive capacity of a community through the activation of its share capital. The Revolving Funds are more than instruments of economic induction. They are social protective mechanisms. They result from the capacity of local governance, as they occur due to collective decision making and in self-managed regime. Each Fund has a management policy which has all its tools and rules for the use and management of resources.
Each farmer who is directly benefited by a social investment or donation compromises to return the amount he/she received through payments in benefits and services to a collective fund, which is managed and governed by the community. This way, all invested resources in some farmers of a certain community have a rotating condition, having the option of being re-loaned to new farmers from the same community in different and progressive cycles, increasing social impacts. Usually, Revolving Funds are managed by the community association.
An important part of our work with farmers is to help them learn and implement low-cost socio-environmental technologies (but with high social impact) in the communities where they live. Plate cisterns, for instance, allow them to collect and store water in rainy seasons so they can consume it in dry seasons. Through this technology, rain water that falls on surfaces like rooftops and rocks is collected from gutters and stored in the cisterns to be consumed by the families or used in production for irrigation and livestock farming. This is only an example of a socio-environmental technology that helps local families live with semiarid challenges.
The Cooperative Networks aim to stimulate the formation of networks of productive groups of communities and regions around arrangements that optimize production chains and expand farmers’ participation in their most profitable stages and that are able to impact social policies and qualify public and private investments on large scale programs of family farming support. The program mobilizes farmers, organizes and takes part in forums and events for discussion and participative construction of territorial strategic plans, motivating, assisting and coordinating inter-sector dialogue and formulation of cooperative actions and projects.
In nine years of operation, Adel has developed many competences about promotion of local development through training and entrepreneurship support in rural communities. The actions and initiatives made throughout Adel’s history have in common the construction of means to maximize and enable people and communities in resilience situation. These competences were developed through direct interaction with young people and farmers and with basic entities, such as community associations, cooperatives and other organizations of civil society.
- In order to accomplish its mission, Adel carried out projects in areas like:
- Water and food safety;
- Water resources management;
- Family farming;
- structuring of production chains and local production arrangements;
- socio-productive inclusion;
- rural microfinances;
- sustainable living with local biome and efficiency in the use of natural resources in a sustainable way;
- dissemination and implementation of socio-environmental technologies;
- environmental preservation and education;
- education for entrepreneurship, for citizenship, for sustainability and for development;
- rural technical consultancy;
- multi-sector dialogues, involving companies, governments, social movements and organizations of civil society and
- Creation, planning and management of businesses and projects in rural context.
These experiences allowed Adel produce and acquire enough knowledge to support other actors of society in project execution and services in these fields of work. Specific approaches and solutions were experimented by Adel towards effective results, which are shared with companies, governments and other organizations interested in impacting positively people, communities and environment, according to sustainability ethics.
Adel offers a range of services to companies, governments and other actors of civil society to collaborate with their own strategies to promote human development, incorporate or disseminate corporate sustainability practices or even compensate, control and mitigate impacts derived from their operations.
There is still the possibility that these actors are interested in maximizing positive impacts that have already been caused in society and the environment, engage their contributors and closer communities.
Adel is always looking for partners to carry out projects and put into practice the knowledge and socio-environmental technologies learned and developed in communities and regions in all Brazil and other places in the world.
- Among the services Adel can offer, there are, in the fields of work mentioned in the previous item:
- Technical and management consultancy;
- Elaboration and management of programs and projects;
- Monitoring and assessment;
- Researches, diagnoses and studies;
- Articulation and coordination of partnerships;
- Formulation and management of networks;
- Implementation of security water systems, natural resources management and food safety;
- Dissemination and implementation of socio-environmental technologies;
- Rural technical assistance;
- Training and assistance;