Versão em Português

Use of Social Technologies to Reduce Deforestation

Interstate Agricultural Development Association (Adai)

Project official website
Total project value
R$ 9,157,010.25
Total support amount
US$ 2,774,459.06



Implement family agroecological production units, contributing to food security and income generation of riverine people and family farmers in an environmentally sustainable manner


Riverine families and small farmers in areas of influence of hydroelectric projects

Territorial scope

Communities in the areas of influence of the hydroelectric projects in the states of Pará, Mato Grosso, Rondônia, and Tocantins



The Interstate Agricultural Development Association (Adai) was founded in 1993 as a non-profit entity to act in the implementation of projects in communities affected by hydroelectric power generation projects dams.

The area covered by the project comprises six regions in which resident families had their ways of life affected by the operation, construction or planning of hydroelectric plants (UHE), namely:

  • Rondônia: UHE Santo Antônio, UHE Jirau and UHE Samuel, involving the municipalities of Porto Velho, Candeias do Jamari, Alto Paraíso, and Itapuã do Oeste;
  • Mato Grosso: UHE Sinop, involving the municipality of Sinop;
  • Tocantins: UHE Estreito, involving the municipalities of Filadélfia and Babaçulândia;
  • Pará: UHE Belo Monte, involving the municipalities of Altamira, Brasil Novo, and Vitória do Xingu;
  • Pará: UHE Tucuruí, involving the municipalities of Marabá and Nova Ipixuna; and
  • Pará: UHE São Luiz do Tapajós, involving the municipalities of Itaituba, Trairão, and Rurópolis¹.
¹ The procedures to start the construction of UHE São Luiz do Tapajós were canceled by Ibama in 2016 after the decision to file during the environmental licensing phase. However, the riverine families that are in the polygon of this enterprise experience a situation of vulnerability due to other factors inherent to the local socioeconomic reality. For this reason, and regardless of any future resumption of the project, they were considered as eligible target audience for the activities of the project.


The objective of the project was to promote agroecological food production, aiming at food security for families and reducing pressure on natural resources. For this, the Pais method (integrated and sustainable agroecological production) was used, which involves organic agriculture integrated with the breading of small animals and uses inputs produced on the property itself in order to preserve soil quality.

The Pais method also enables the cultivation of diversified and healthier foods for consumption and commercialization and reduces dependence on external inputs, thus promoting improvement of the quality of life of family farmers. Throughout the project, 240 Pais with irrigation systems powered by a solar energy source were implemented.

Native forest species were also planted with the objective of diversifying production on a sustainable basis and reforesting degraded areas at the project’s implementation sites. In addition to training for the preparation of seedlings and use of the plantation management techniques, families received technical assistance in agroecology, which
also benefited awareness and environmental education.


The project is part of the “Sustainable Production” component (1) of the Amazon Fund Logical Framework. Its direct effects were defined as follows: (1.1) Agroecological family production developed for food security and income generation of families affected by hydroelectric projects; and (1.3) Technical capability of families affected by hydroelectric projects expanded for agroecological production and for its commercialization.

The supported actions enhanced forest conservation by promoting income generation for local populations with environmental sustainability, thus directly contributing to the general objective of the Amazon Fund to “reduce deforestation with sustainable development in the Brazilian Amazon.”

Click on the following image to view its objectives tree, that is, how the project's outputs and linked to the expected outcomes and impact.



Date of approval 05.24.2017
Date of the contract 07.31.2017
Date of conclusion 12.31.2021
Disbursement period 42 months (from the date the contract was signed)


date amount
1º disbursements 08.23.2017 R$804,567.35
2º disbursements 12.27.2017 R$447,112.84
3º disbursements 05.28.2018 R$236,793.90
4º disbursements 08.29.2018 R$3,464,765.13
5º disbursements 04.29.2019 R$674,861.24
6º disbursements 09.27.2019 R$3,264,135.32
7º disbursements 11.27.2019 R$121,842.81
8º disbursements 01.30.2020 R$15,230.35
9º disbursements 01.11.2021 R$30,409.69
Total amount disbursed R$9,059,718.63

Total amount disbursed in relation to the Amazon Fund’s support



Integrated and sustainable agroecological production kits are a social technology characterized by the use of simple techniques and gradual implementation. The low cost, standard structure is highly replicable, consisting of a central chicken coop and circular gardens in the surroundings, requiring only simple tools and materials for its installation and maintenance.

Throughout the project, 240 Pais were deployed in properties of families selected based on criteria such as expressed interest, proximity to consumer centers, number of families with a female household head (43% of total selected), and geographical dispersion (in order to generate nearby centers and minimize deployment costs)¹. Activities included acquisition of the materials to build structures under joint effort and inputs to plant vegetables, legumes, fruits, and grains.

The installation of irrigation systems is critical for the proper performance of the Pais. The 240 kits were installed bearing in mind, for each property, irrigation needs for each culture, property characteristics (such as slope and distance from water source), and solar radiation in the region. The main system is composed of a water tank of five thousand liters, two pumps (one for capturing in the water source and a second to boost the irrigation sprinklers on the crops), and two solar panels to generate energy to operate the pumps.

Installation of the Pais and irrigation kits was complemented by the production and planting of 56 thousand forest seedlings, which benefited the selected properties with the replantation of native species to the development of agroecological production. Species that offer the necessary shading to the installed gardens and that produce fruits, oils, and essences that can be sold were selected.

By relying on the transmission of knowledge and techniques of sustainable production on a small scale, the project required intensive training and monitoring actions. All teams of the local units gathered in three meetings to discuss planning, monitoring, and evaluation aspects of the project. The first meeting was held at the start of the project, focusing on the elaboration of the work plan and two more meetings throughout its execution.

Aiming at the formation of local teams and leaders at the head of the project, a course was also promoted, divided into three 40-minute modules, on the themes associated with the implementation of the Pais, the operation and basic maintenance of solar panels, and knowledge in agroecology.

To concentrate this activity and promote greater integration of teams, the project’s area of operation was divided into three major regions: (i) Mato Grosso and Rondônia; (ii) Xingu and Tapajós; and (iii) the Tocantins River Basin. In each of these regions, the three training modules were carried out, totaling nine sessions and resulting in 96 men and 71 women trained.

Additional training was given and experience shared through two meetings with multiplier farmers in each region, mobilizing 58 men and 59 women, and a visit to exchange knowledge between family farmers to multiply experiences. This last event brought together 44 men and 38 women from the three regions covered by the project.

As a broader training space, 80 field days were also held. In this activity, themes related to production, commercialization, and environmental aspects were worked on, aiming at the continuous training of 240 farmers with on-site activities but also with the possibility for neighboring families who were interested in the actions of the project to participate.

¹ In order to geographically concentrate the programmed actions, optimize project management, and maximize the intended results, the activities were developed in a number of municipalities slightly smaller than originally planned.

Final Evaluation

Result and impact indicators

The project activities contributed to the results related to the “Sustainable Production” component (1) of the Amazon Fund Logical Framework.

The main indicators used to monitor this objective were:

  • Estimated amount of the production of the Pais implemented by the project for self-consumption of the families (outcome indicator)
    Target: R$ 471,900 | Final Result: R$ 1.3 million (accumulated)
  • Revenue obtained from commercialization of the surplus of the Pais implemented by the project (outcome indicator)
    Target: R$ 471,900 | Final Result: R$ 1.8 million (accumulated)
  • Number of seedlings produced in the project (output indicator)
    Target: 24,000 | Final Result: 56,318

The production and marketing indicators far exceeded the established targets. Between 2017 and 2020, the accumulated gross income reached R$ 3.1 million, of which 57% was obtained through local sales. It is also worth mentioning the result of the production of forest seedlings, more than twice the expected target. The species selected that produce fruits and oils have the potential to increase the future income of families.

  • Number of rural properties with families benefited by technical assistance actions (outcome indicator)
    Target: 240 | Final Result: 240
  • Number of technical assistance visits carried out (output indicator)
    Target: 4,320 | Final Result: 5,520
  • Number of individuals participating in the technical training course, broken down by gender (output indicator)
    Target: 72 | Final Result: 167 (96 men and 71 women)
  • Number of individuals participating in local multiplier meetings, broken down by gender (output indicator)
    Target: 48 (24 men and 24 women) | Final Result: 117 (59 men and 58 women)
  • Number of individuals effectively trained using the knowledge acquired for agroecological production, broken down by gender (outcome indicator)
    Target: 720 | Final Result: 1,067 (511 men and 556 women)
  • Number of exchange meetings (output indicator)
    Target: 2 | Final Result: 1

The set of training activities and multiplication of experiences, often a challenge in the execution of projects with great territorial dispersion, showed very robust results in relation to the targets, except for the second meeting to exchange knowledge, canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The following table shows the rate of deforestation in the last seven years in the states of Pará, Mato Grosso, Rondônia, and Tocantins, which together account on average for over 70% of the total deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon in the same period. Despite the economic dynamics and various deforestation vectors in each state, the persistence of high deforestation rates in the region reinforces the need of support, among other actions, for activities aimed at the protection and sustainable use of the forest, similar to this project.

Deforestation (km²)



























Brazilian Amazon









AC and AM total (%)









Source: Prodes/Inpe.

Institutional and administrative aspects

Adai has established partnerships with local associations and municipalities to carry out the project. It is worth mentioning the partnership with Província Irmã Amabile Avosani (Pama), a congregation of Franciscan Nuns located in Porto Velho (RO), which provided support for commercialization of part of the production.

For project management, a local base was structured in each of the six regions covered by the project. Investments in communication equipment made to integrate the bases were fundamental in allowing continuity of the execution of activities in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, since routines were impacted by the adoption of remote work.

Finally, throughout the project, promotional and guidance materials were produced. The booklets and folders contain technical guidelines for the management and maintenance of the production kits and were made available on Adai´s website or partially distributed in a printed version to the communities. Much of the material was used in the fieldwork and also served as a source of consultation during the pandemic, when face-to-face meetings were reduced.

Risks and lessons learned

When executing projects of this nature, there are previously identified risks related to the vulnerability of the socioeconomic condition of families, the lack of training in sustainable production techniques or even uncertainty regarding the documentation of properties able to receive support. An example of the difficulties faced in this project
was the removal of some families from areas in which ownership of the property was questioned in the state of Tocantins which required relocation and re-installation of the production kits, without prejudice up to end of the process.

On the other hand, this same contingency represents a lesson learned since the update of the land status and registration of the properties in the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), according to contractual requirements in the operations of the Amazon Fund, are additional benefits of the project.

The project executors reported the difficulty local environmental agencies had in issuing environmental licensing waivers and the use of water resources in small projects. This difficulty required meetings with the environmental departments to present the project and answer questions about the project.

Regarding mobilization of the families, some initial resistance was observed in the approach of concepts linked to agroecological production, in many cases due to the difficulty of understanding and implementing these new concepts. It should also be noted that the project was carried out in regions where tensions remain between the activities that promote the standing forest and those that threaten the Amazon biome.

Sustainability of results

The actions supported were focused on good safety, sustainable production, and income generation for local populations. This characteristic contributes to the result achieved being sustained over time and even expanded in the most successful cases. Overcoming the agreed upon goals in a relatively short period after execution of the project suggests that the investments and the new techniques used were well assimilated by the families. In order to geographically concentrate the programmed actions, optimize project management, and maximize the intended results, the activities were developed in a number of municipalities slightly smaller than originally planned.


In this area we offer some PDF files with the main publications generated by the project. Click the filename to start the download.