Policies designed to improve sustainable agriculture, while improving social services and education for rural communities
WASHINGTON – March 6, 2012 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved today a US$ 350 million Development Policy Loan (DPL) to support public policies that promote the expansion of sustainable agriculture, education and social inclusion in Piauí, one of Brazil’s poorest states. The Piauí Green Growth and Inclusion Project will benefit more than 200,000 poor farmers and 40 Quilombola communities (isolated rural villages of former escaped slaves), by helping them to regularize their land titles, and build capacity to achieve sustainable agriculture production, generating higher incomes.
“Piauí is full of natural resources. This project recognizes the State’s efforts to help small and medium producers make the most of their lands through sustainable processes and with improved technical capacity,,” said Wilson Martins, Governor of the State of Piauí. “These measures will not only promote economic growth, but also build human capital and improve the educational level.”
Piauí, in Northeast Brazil, is a state marked by contradictions. Its 25.1 million hectares hold significant natural resources, with six million hectares of well-drained flat land viable for high-value agriculture. However, it has very low social and economic indicators, including the second highest illiteracy rate in Brazil, and the lowest gross domestic product.
“Through this loan, social excluded communities will be given opportunities they haven’t seen so far. By helping them improve their educational level, they will have a chance to become more economically active,” explained Makhtar Diop, World Bank Director for Brazil, and emphasized that “this initiative will show that Green Growth for ALL is possible.”
The loan will support three key objectives as established by the State of Piauí:
- Statewide rural green growth by improving land tenure security, and ensuring sustainable agricultural practices;
- Socially Inclusive growth through improved statewide public education, and youth participation in the labor market; and
- Fiscal sustainability through stronger institutions and more efficient, results-based public service delivery.
This single-tranche IBRD DPL does not have financial counter parts and will have an 18.5 year maturity and five-year grace period.