Brazil's Codevasf secures water supply for Penambuco farmers

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Brazil's São Francisco and Parnaíba valley development company Codevasf has guaranteed water supplies for a public irrigation project called Senador Nilo Coelho, in the semiarid region of the northeastern state of Pernambuco.

Some 2,300 small rural farmers that are participating in the project, which covers 23,000ha of farmland, received confirmation that their water supplies are secured up until the end of the year.

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By April 2017 when the wet season ends in this region, the Sobradinho dam is expected to reach 38% capacity, which should also guarantee water for next year, Codevasf reported on its website.

"The rain falling at this moment in Minas Gerais, which is the source of the São Francisco river, is the main reason for the good news, plus preventative measures by Codevasf... gave farmers greater security for their production schedules, assuring jobs, income and crops," said Codevasf's regional irrigation manager, José Costa Barros.

The announcement was made by the company's third regional superintendence in Petrolina at the border between Penambuco and Bahia states, close to the Sobradinho reservoir, which is the main water reserve in this part of the country.

Of the farmers participating in the Nilo Coelho program, some 86% (1,980) are small or family farmers owning up to 7ha of land.

Codevasf received 25mn reais (US$7.3mn) of federal funding from the national integration ministry's national protection and civil defense secretariat, which financed construction of a 2.4km water pipeline and a 2km levee system, as well as a series of floating water pump systems.