Currently Playing

Brazilian farmers paid to "produce" water in fight against scarcity

Brazilian farmers paid to "produce" water in fight against scarcity

Surveying a field of 50,000 green peppers, Daniel de Almeida proudly explains how he "produces" all the water needed by crops and livestock on his farm on the outskirts of Brasilia, a city about to end water rationing after a severe drought.

De Almeida is one of 1,200 farmers across Brazil supported by a government-run programme that improves infrastructure on their land to boost groundwater and conserve water sources.

When water rationing was introduced in Brazil's Federal District more than a year ago, de Almeida continued to water his crops and animals from a river source on his property.

"Those who did not preserve the springs, restore native areas, replant or have a protected green area suffered in the drought," de Almeida said, adding that farmers were not permitted to draw water from the river.

"But here, thank God, we went through the drought with water in abundance," de Almeida told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on his 70-acre (28-hectare) property in Planaltina, Federal District, as steers grazed behind him.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter