Association of small rural producers of jacarE
In 1997, Sister Rita Rodrigues Pessoa, who has worked in rural Brazil for more than half a century, helped form a cooperative called the Association of Small Rural Producers of Jacare to promote educational, cultural and social activities in the towns and surrounding farms.
In a few years, the Association morphed into a small economic engine. The cooperative initially sponsored the construction of a building to house alternative medicine and craft making activities. Later, they built facilities to produce agricultural products and a factory to process flour. Today, more than 25 families belong to the program.
The co-op stresses financial transparency at every level. The agricultural department of Bahia supports the co-op, because they believe the project is replicable in other rural communities. The growers and manufacturers share a community, allowing them to expand their programs and build local economic viability.