Southern Brazil is home to some of the country’s richest agricultural assets and the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul (where Aguia’s pre-production phosphate and copper sulphate projects, and copper assets are all located) is a state of rolling hills and pastures, far from the tropical climate of the Amazon rainforest of northern Brazil. Rio Grande do Sul is on the same latitude as the state of NSW, Australia, and has the same elevation as the town of agricultural rich Armidale, in NSW, Australia. It is a place that farming migrants, predominantly from Portugal, have called home for generations.

Rio Grande do Sul – Culture & Community

Rio Grande do Sul is a region larger than New Zealand with a population of just over 11 million people and the highest life expectancy in Brazil. Like its foreign neighbours (Uruguay and Argentina), the state has a gaucho culture, and the pampas (the southwestern region of the state where Aguia’s projects and assets are located), is still influenced by the culture of the old Gaúchos.

Gaúcho is a term that can describe anyone born in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, however, it is also used to describe the 19th century rural workers of the region. Despite some influence from German and Italian immigrants to the region, the Gaúcho people of Rio Grande do Sul maintain a particular zeal for their culture.

Gaúcho culture in Rio Grande do Sul remains on display today, characterised through the wearing of the traditional Gaúcho outfit, skilled horsemanship and lassoing, and horseback livestock raising on the grazing fields of Rio Grande do Sul.

Aguia works closely with the Rio Grande do Sul community, beyond the community consultation required for project permitting. To date, this has included sponsorship of photography exhibitions, vintage car events and other local festivals. Nossa Terra, which translates as ‘Our Land’ is a program run by Aguia which supports the actions and projects of entities that are committed to sustainability, education and improvement in the quality of life, especially for vulnerable people within the local area.

Aguia will be prioritising the employment of people from the local community for our Três Estradas Phosphate Project and Andrade Copper Sulphate Project (as well as all future developments) where possible. Community relations work is being undertaken with communications support from NANO BizTools.

Agriculture in Southern Brazil

The presence of abundant natural resources (a semi-temperate or moderate climate, a high rainfall and fertile soil), has made Rio Grande do Sul home to many very successful farmers and agronomists who possess a deep technical knowledge of farming practices. Investment in agricultural research has brought advances in science, technology, and innovation to agriculture.

These factors have further resulted in the creation of a significant and rich agricultural sector in southern Brazil. It has created inter-generational wealth amongst landowners who in turn have become savvy investors in the agribusiness sector. There is an openness to innovation and a key awareness of changing consumer needs and price points. There is also a pride taken in improving local production, in fostering employment and strengthening community which is palpable.

People from Lavras