Bionatur: Cooperativa Agroecológica Nacional Terra e Vida Ltda
Lead Organization: Centro de Educação Popular e Pesquisa em Agroecologia (CEPPA)
Partner Organizations: Rede Bionatur/Coonaterra
Award: $90,000 over 24 months
Coonaterra / Bionatur is an organization of farming families, beneficiaries of agrarian reform, and producers of seeds. It is connected to the Movimento Sem Terra (the Landless Workers Movement or MST) in Brazil. Coonaterra created the Bionatur seed network in 2011 to gather and spread new varieties of vegetable seeds due to growing demand from farm families in many regions of Brazil. Bionatur is a pioneering seed cooperative and markets its seeds with its own trade mark. Currently, the cooperative has 210 families producing seeds in Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais. This project seeks to increase the capacity of seed-producing farmers, expand the network, and improve access by farming families to diversified seeds in a sector which is highly concentrated in the hands of a few seed companies. Public purchasing programs are in turmoil; Bionatur will advocate for supportive public policies and seek new markets for the farmers’ agroecological seeds.