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Regenerative agriculture in the Amazon

Meet the EcoAraguaia: Camp Farm of the Future!

 

EcoAraguaia Farm of the Future is a former cattle ranch in the Amazon rainforest with a big mission: to show the world how producing food, restoring nature, and creating livelihoods can go hand in hand. The key to all of this? Regenerative agriculture: a holistic system for managing the land that integrates people, planet, and profit.

Where three biomes meet

EcoAraguaia Farm of the Future is located in Caseara, on the border of the Brazilian provinces of Tocantins and Pará, in the middle of the 2,600 km long Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor along the river of the same name. The Farm is situated at the intersection of three biomes: the Cerrado (savanna), Pantanal (tropical wetland), and of course the Amazon rainforest. These climatic conditions create an incredibly lush environment teeming with flora and fauna.

 

The Araguaia River is the center of a vast biodiversity corridor, giving life to many thousands of tropical species of plants and animals in the heart of the Amazon.

From degrading to regenerative agriculture

Unfortunately, this magnificent region of the world has suffered decades of deforestation and soil degradation, largely as a result of traditional soy and cattle farming practices. To this day, as in the rest of the world, many people in the area are stuck in conventional ways of farming that are slowly but surely eroding the natural systems essential for their survival.

The Tiezzi family, owners of a 500 hectare cattle ranch in the region, decided in 2017 that it was time to move away from the traditional model of cattle farming that had been the foundation of their family business for many years. Seeing the natural degradation that took place as a result of this way of farming, Guilherme Tiezzi and his sisters decided to completely transform their business into a regenerative agriculture model contributing to ecosystem restoration. They dubbed it the EcoAraguaia “Farm of the Future” (“Fazenda do Futuro”).

The goal: to cultivate and manage the land in harmony with, rather than against, the natural environment, while building community with other farmers and families in the area and learning from the wisdom of the indigenous people of the region, who have already managed to do this for thousands of years.

 

Pictured: Guilherme Tiezzi, owner of the Farm of the Future, and Srêwē of the Xerente Tribe, a local indigenous chief whose teachings about regenerative agriculture and land management are implemented and taught at the EcoAraguaia Farm of the Future.

 

 

A vision for the future

EcoAraguaia Farm of the Future is founded on a holistic approach to agriculture following design principles of permaculture and rooted firmly in the concept of harmony with nature, which states that mankind can only grow and flourish by strengthening the natural environment of which it is an integral part.

This philosophy translates into an ambitious future vision and strategy for the region, with 7 interconnected strategic dimensions (reforestation, ecotourism, a forest school, livestock and green agriculture, network entrepreneurship, spirituality, and renewable energy) and over a dozen ongoing projects in various stages of implementation. All of these activities are designed to create social, ecological, and economic (where appropriate) value simultaneously.

This holistic approach is not limited to the Farm itself: since the beginning, the Tiezzi family have been building relations with other farmers and landowners in the area, with the purpose of consolidating a network of farmers all engaging in the same transition so that they can help one another as much as possible and learn from each other’s successes and failures. Starting in 2017 with the 60 closest neighbouring landowners, no less than 800 families have been involved in this effort thus far. The long-term vision is that of an entire agricultural sector that understands the importance of working in harmony with the laws of nature and (re)creates a thriving Amazon in the process.

 

EcoAraguaia Farm of the Future is all about education and community building. Here we see a group of teachers and educators visiting from the Family-based Agriculture School (EFA) in Porto Nacional, who integrate hands-on projects at the Farm in their students’ curricula.

 

 

Work in progress: agroforestry and ecotourism

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and so too the EcoAraguaia Farm of the Future is a constantly ongoing project. Some of the Farm’s most recent milestones include:

● The establishment of a successful regenerative agriculture business model through agroforestry. By intercropping strips of agricultural and forested land, the farm will soon be able to generate revenue through no less than 20 types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and timber products.

Perhaps even more importantly, the Farm is now hosting local underprivileged youth and teaching them how to become entrepreneurs in the field of bio-agri-business in their own communities. The aim is to empower them to break a cycle of poverty and hardship by offering the skills and tools necessary for them to earn a living while respecting and strengthening the natural environment. Hopefully, this will turn one Farm of the Future into dozens, if not hundreds, over time.

 

Regenerative agriculture is a cornerstone of the Farm’s business model. Here we see an agroforestry plot with strips of agricultural and forested land being intercropped for maximum benefit.

● The creation of the EcoAraguaia Jungle Lodge, a simple and elegant structure on the Farm’s property surrounded by unspoilt nature which allows for ecotourists and other visitors to come and experience first-hand the immense wealth of gorgeous plants, trees, and animals of all kinds that the area has to offer.

Guilherme and his family firmly believe in the idea that people who reconnect with nature, also reconnect more closely with their own humanity and consequently make themselves more whole as human beings. This is in line with scientific evidence suggesting that spending time out in nature is good for health and wellbeing. There is hardly a better place to achieve this than in the middle of the richest natural ecosystem on planet Earth. Some of the animals one might spot on a visit to the EcoAraguaia Jungle Lodge include jaguars (don’t worry, it’s safe!), dolphins, and otters.

 

As its name suggests, the EcoAraguaia Jungle Lodge is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, providing the ideal setting for visitors to (re)connect with nature and their own humanity.

 

Meow! Ecotourists and volunteers alike will be able to experience plenty of wildlife roaming free at the EcoAraguaia Farm of the Future, all of course from a safe distance.

 

 

What can I do?

EcoAraguaia Farm of the Future invites anyone who is interested to come visit, marvel at the ecological treasures of the region, and nurture their own spirits and souls through a more authentic and intimate interaction with mother Earth.

For those looking to volunteer abroad, the Farm offers an opportunity to be part of an ambitious, innovative project combining agroforestry, education, ecotourism, network entrepreneurship, and renewable energy, just to name a few.

Finally, farmers from all over the world are welcome to visit the Farm in order to learn from and be inspired by the regenerative agriculture business model the Farm is pioneering in this region. The Farm owners realize the challenge that farmers face globally in transitioning to a more environmentally friendly way of producing food and generating sustainable livelihoods. They hope their example can serve as a case study and encouragement for their peers to make this transition faster and more effectively.

For more information, please contact Guilherme Tiezzi via email at guilherme@valuebuilders.net or on WhatsApp at +55 11 99187 6028. Alternatively, Gui can be reached on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Learn more on the Camp Farm of the Future’s page on our website.

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Contact us:

info@ecosystemrestorationcamps.org

Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation /
Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020

Joppelaan 77
7215 AD Joppe
The Netherlands

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