Posted: 12 Apr 2012
Date Written: May 6, 2010
With many countries facing scarcity of freshwater and farmable land, Brazil decided to leverage its wealth of both resources to attract global agribusiness players to the historically poor Sao Francisco Valley (SFV) in the country's northeast. To do so, Brazil was instituting its first public-private partnership (PPP) in irrigation at Pontal, a partially built irrigation project in the SFV. In exchange for partial reimbursement from the Brazilian government and free use of 30,000 hectares land for 25 years, the private-sector partner would finish constructing the irrigation infrastructure and establish agricultural operations on the project; the partner was also required to integrate some local smallholders into the production chain. In December 2009, Codevasf was almost ready to start accepting bids for Pontal. For Clementino de Souza Coelho, director of infrastructure for Codevasf, the stakes were high: if successful at Pontal, PPPs could be replicated throughout the SFV, transforming the historically poor region into an agribusiness hub, as well as be a model for the rest of the world.
Learning Objective: To understand complexities of water usage by agriculture.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation