San Jose, Calif. — Between today and Thursday, Enactus, a nonprofit organization that inspires students to develop communities, will host the international competition for social entrepreneurship in San Jose, Cali. The Brazilian team, and eight other Ford College Community Challenge teams, representing their countries in the Enactus World Cup are supported by the Ford Fund.
Brazil’s team won the national stage with their Mudas Project, responsible for a smarter and more effective irrigation system focused on small farmers in Ceará.
Created by about 25 students from the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Ceará (IFCE-Iguatu), Mudas helps the community of Ceará to avoid wasting food through lectures on fruit and vegetable production, cakes, pastries and sweets. Additionally, students have come up with a solution that avoids wasting water through reuse.
"Supporting projects like Mudas and tracking the achievements of these young entrepreneurs is a great satisfaction for Ford. The concern they have with the impact on the communities in which they operate is in line with the company's proposal for Social Responsibility, whose pillars are education and the sustainable development of society," Roberta Madke, Manager of Corporate Communication and Social Responsibility at Ford South America, said.
The group, which now has 18 students, was one of four Brazilian teams receiving a $5,000 incentive from the Ford Fund. Through the partnership, the team expanded the project with vocational courses and the creation of a pulp, candy and jelly factory, which involves more than 30 women.
The team seeks to change the landscape with safe production of low-cost food. The irrigation system revolves around the reuse of water costing between R$ 8 and R$ 10 [Brazilian Real to United States Dollar : 1 BRL = 0.24371 USD].
"We innovate with a drip system made with lollipop stick and wire, technology that costs less than R $ 0.01 and has produced food for the pulp mill, where 14 professionals have been trained," Kevin Brasil, leader of IFCE-Iguatu, said.
The team aims to automate the irrigation used by farmers to prioritize water savings. This led to the development of EcoTec, which indicates the exact moment of starting and stopping irrigation, optimizing the time and saving of water for the farmer. The average cost is $ 50.
"Ford has been helping us for two years, and with the support we have been able to bring real progress to the local communities of our backlands and expand the program from 15 to 25 families, plus five schools, which today work in more than 2,100 square meters of area before they were unproductive, generating food for 1,652 people. I hope we can transform the lives of many people who did not have opportunities for jobs, health and education, making them the owners of their own businesses," Brasil, said.