Boerengreop goes International: Bruno Miranda & agroecological stories from BRAZIL

How Indigenous communities and peasant farmers are using agroecology to foster resistance against big agribusiness in Brazil and assert their rights!

When thinking about agroecology, the images of Low-tech Farms and techniques inspired by traditional or indigenous knowledge generally come to mind. Agroecology is heavily associated with sustainability transitions in agriculture, and it is hailed as our best bet to build more resilient food systems in the face of the current climate crisis. Still, beyond the sustainability discourse, agroecology also has a strong political dimension regarding the future of our food systems, and the human nature relationship. In Brazil, a coalition of indigenous and traditional peoples are using agroecology as a weapon to fight for their rights, for their territories, and against the advancements of the agroindustry in the country, and this Coalition is known as “Teia dos Povos” (Web of the Peoples).

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The “Teia dos Povos” is an articulation and a loose coalition of Indigenous peoples, Quilombolas (communities formed by Afro-descendants fleeing slavery), and other traditional rural communities historically marginalized and oppressed in Brazil. They organize themselves in a horizontal, self-managed, and decentralized way. It is a platform where communities with different identities can come together, collaborate, share knowledge and practices, and cooperate in their struggles to preserve their ways of life and their territories. The articulation is primarily bottom-up, with a strong grassroots identity and an emphasis on the protagonism of the members of the communities and traditional knowledge. Still, they also collaborate with NGOs, academics, and other social movements in an intersectional way. 

The coalition was established in 2012, as a result of the “1º journey of agroecology” of the state of Bahia, where representatives and leadership of the communities Pataxós, Tupinambás, Pataxó Hã-hã-hãe, Quilombolas, and many other communities and peasant movements, realized

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the need to cooperate and confluence around their common struggles. The “Teia dos Povos” emerged as the platform where they could continue with this work, based on the pillars of agroecology and the struggle to defend the traditional territories.


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The main objective of the “Teia dos povos” is to share experiences between the communities with different identities and bridge the gap between them. Through these shared experiences, the coalition seeks to build new knowledge and establish the basis for cooperation in the intersectional struggle of the traditional communities in Brazil. They also have a strong anti-capitalist worldview, seeking to build a new paradigm based on traditional knowledge that can allow the overcoming of capitalist rationality and relationships. Three fundamental pillars guide the coalition:


1) Land and food as a philosophical and life principle, which is built through unrestricted solidarity with movements for the defense of territoriality, using the pedagogy of example as an instrument.


2) Work and study for freedom to build a new way of life, deconstructing the legacy of capitalist, racist, and patriarchal models.


3) Reaffirming the ancestral gaze in the building of a new era, contextualized in our own way. (TEIA DOS POVOS, 2014, online).


So far, they have been successful in promoting a number of agro-ecological initiatives and pushing for food sovereignty. The “Teia” established creole seed banks, contributed to the restoration of endangered biomes, and has an important role in generating new agroecological knowledge, bridging the gap between academia and practice.


The “Teia dos Povos” is an important initiative to keep an eye on, and it shows us that there’s still fight and resistance happening against the logic of agribusiness and capitalist relations. This coalition allows us to imagine a possible new future and show a completely different perspective on our food system that many in the “West” have forgotten. It is important to learn from such movements and at the same time respect their knowledge.

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