Brazil – Cooperative Development Program (CDP)

Developing Sustainable, Environmentally Friendly Farming

ACDI/VOCA has had a long history in Brazil. Between 1973 and 1985, ACDI/VOCA conducted 30 volunteer assignments which led to the development of other ACDI/VOCA projects. The current Cooperative Development Program (CDP) in Brazil was built on previous Worldwide Farmer-to-Farmer Program activities conducted between 1994 and 1996, during which 33 assignments were carried out. These projects cemented our partnership with the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives (OCB), which supported ACDI/VOCA’s work by covering the rental costs of our office in Brasilia. Since the inception of ACDI/VOCA’s Brazilian programs, more than 125 ACDI/VOCA volunteers and consultants have offered guidance in nearly every field of agricultural production, as well as numerous consultations in marketing, strategic planning, management and cooperative development.

ACDI/VOCA's recently ended CDP continued to help local producers move toward greater profitability in an atmosphere that promoted sustainable farming and business operations while conserving Brazil's immense and vulnerable natural resource base. Twelve volunteer assignments were carried out under the award. ACDI/VOCA's technical assistance were focused on cooperative management and agricultural processing and marketing, and the deliverables in the majority of the volunteer assignments were business and marketing plans.

CDP training, commodity and value chain related activities included

  • cooperative/producer association business planning
  • cooperative/producer association management evaluation/training
  • agroforestry and reforestation training
  • tropical fruit and vegetable processing and marketing
  • beekeeping and honey marketing
  • aquaculture and associated feed development
  • Brazil nut post-harvest handling and marketing
  • dairy cooperative product development and quality control
  • palm heart packaging and export
  • feasibility studies on commercial viability of a variety of products
  • ecotourism development and assessment
  • fruit juice and fruit pulp quality control and improvement
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HAACP) training and analysis
  • leather handicraft product development and marketing
  • non-timber forest product development and marketing
  • board member training and strategic plan development

Participants included mayors, chambers of agriculture and commerce, state secretariats of agriculture, development bank staff, agricultural and environmental NGOs and state-level co-op organizations. CDP helped local producers move toward greater profitability in an atmosphere that promotes sustainable farming and business operations while conserving Brazil's natural resource base. Cooperatives are an ideal vehicle to deliver additional technical training and financial support to small-scale producers, their families and their respective peripheral entrepreneurial activities.

Visit the Resources for Cooperative and Association Excellence in International Development website for more information on ACDI/VOCA's work with cooperatives.