Skip to main content
© Pro Natura International

Urban organic farming in Brazil

supporting the pilot project of the Pro-Natura association

The Air Liquide Foundation is supporting the pilot project of the Pro-Natura association in Brazil: diversifying food supply with urban organic farming in the favelas of the Rio de Janeiro region.

Farming in the heart of the city

In the region of Rio de Janeiro, 85 % of food doesn't come from the region and is imported from the state of São Paulo. And demand keeps growing thanks to the city's expansion..

Pro-Natura has a solution. This NGO, which has been fighting against poverty and to protect the environment in developing countries since 1985, wants to grow food in the heart of the city with Super Gardens, an urban organic farming project. This new, participative socio-economic development model is aimed at the Salgueiro community (6,000 people) in one of the favelas of Alto da Boa Vista, and is destined to be replicated in other favelas in Rio and around Brazil.

Promoting sustainable farming methods

Two types of vegetable garden have been created thanks to the Air Liquide Foundation's funding: 

  • Three 60 m² community super-gardens to reinforce social cohesion in the neighborhood, which is vital for maintaining balance in these newly peaceful favelas, while generating income for the community
  • 55 individual rooftop mini-gardens that provide food for household consumption as well as additional income thanks to the sale of produce.

The communities are trained to maintain these gardens in order to guarantee the project's long-term success. 

Bringing producers and consumers together

By developing food supply in the favelas of Alto da Boa Vista, the Pro-Natura project reduces their dependence on outside supply. The closeness of producers and consumers ensures the best price for fruit and vegetables and reduces their carbon footprint. An ecological touch is provided by the use of selected non-GMO seeds and charcoal dust to fertilize the soil (the so-called "biochar" process).


  • Project initiator: Pro-Natura Brazil
  • Location: Alto da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro region, Brazil
  • Year of support: 2014
  • Air Liquide sponsor: Carlos Pereira, Operations Manager Air Liquide Brazil

Discover other projects supported by the Air Liquide Foundation