Hydroponic and microcredit farming for food safety in some districts of the city of Teresina in Piauì (Brazil)


The state of Piauì (PI) is one of the poorest in Brazil, presenting the worst growth indices of the entire country and a great difficulty in social and economic development. Much depends on the particular geographical, physical, social and political conditions of the region. The goal of this 2005 project was the introduction and diffusion in outlying areas of Teresina, capital of Piauì, of off-shore cultivation systems (simplified hydroponic micro-gardens) for the production of vegetables for fresh consumption. The beneficiaries are mainly associations of women in conditions of extreme poverty, gathered in Clubes de Mães (Clubs of Mothers).

With this initiative we wanted to pursue two sets of objectives: food security and the economic development of mothers. On the one hand, the nutritional quality of meals given to families and especially to children (use of fresh vegetables) has indeed improved, but also the possibility of learning a new activity that has increased the income capacity of poor mothers. The project also promoted the participation of mothers in collective activities that allowed them to strengthen the bonds of adhesion and solidarity.


In order to make this project transferable and sustainable, 20 young local graduates were trained and in the university / educational field the project was also a support to internship activities for almost forty students coming from degree courses or Masters of Italian Universities.





The University of Padua is the first promoter and creator of the project.

Specific activities were carried out by the University of Bologna (Department of Agricultural Sciences) and the University of Naples. The project was financed by FAO and the Veneto Region and was implemented by Fundaçao Pe. Antonio Dante Civiero (FUNACI), Federal University of Piauì, Teresina Prefecture, Federal Government of Brazil, University of Padua and University of Bologna.