AS-PTA stands for Family Farming and Agroecology, a Non- Governmental, Not-For-Profit organization that was created in 1983 with another name, Alternative Technology Project (PTA in Portuguese).
AS-PTA’s mission is to foster the transformation of the Brazilian agriculture into a new development model based on family farmers and on the use of the agroecological approach to agricultural production.
AS-PTA’s strategy is based on the development of agroecological production systems in family farmers’ communities. These pilot experiments have the role of demonstrating to farmers’ organizations and the public at large the economic, social and environmental viability of the agroecological production model. Such experiments have, otherwise, another role, to give inputs for the formulation of development policies that will permit the mainstreaming of the agroecological development model.
The three local development pilot programs are located in the northeastern state of Paraíba, the southern states of Paraná and Santa Catarina and the city of Rio de Janeiro (an urban agriculture program). The first involves 3000 and the second 1000 farmers whereas the third program involves 300 urban duelers.
These pilot programs also serve as testing ground for the creation of a development approach and of development methodologies that permits small technical supporting teams to foster agroecology innovation and adoption on a large scale.
AS-PTA’s strategy seeks to empower family farmers’ organizations from local to national level in order to make them the advocates of the policies necessary to bring the agroecology alternatives to all farmers.
AS-PTA created and is the executive coordinator of the National Agroecological Network (ANA in Portuguese), organizing more then 500 farmers and supporting organizations from all over Brazil.
ANA’s and AS-PTA’s headquarters are located in Rio de Janeiro, on the southeastern region.