Six years ago, she left the city of Assis/SP to live in the Haroldina settlement, located in Mirante do Paranapanema/SP, in the extreme west of the state of São Paulo. As soon as she completed one year in the settlement, she was awarded the Agroforestry Systems (SAF) project in Mirante do Paranapanema (SP), in the far west of São Paulo.
In the Project, researchers and technicians from IPÊ - Institute for Ecological Research - work together with farmers who trusted the proposal to implement SAFs in 2015 and 2016 – combining the planting of native tree species with fruit trees and coffee.
Near the entrance of Sonia's family settlement, 600 native trees of the Atlantic Forest, of 25 species, are distributed. There are 400 fruit trees, such as orange, lemon and soursop, which provide shade for the 2,600 coffee trees. This is the proposal of the SAF, to plant a line of native trees and a line of fruit trees, spaced eight meters apart. In the space between the two lines, shady and agroecological coffee is planted. Sonia, however, uses the area to also cultivate foods with shorter cycles, such as sweet potatoes, peanuts, corn, string beans, caxi, okra, etc. Working in the shade is a great benefit, says Sonia.
“In a hot region like Pontal do Paranapanema, where thermometers reach 40 degrees, planting and harvesting in the shadow of my SAF is seeing God's hand in the perfection of nature”.
Part of the production is sold to the National Supply Company (Conab), responsible for the Food Acquisition Program (PAA), which contributes to increasing the inclusion of settlers in public policies aimed at rural development. The surplus goes to the table and provides Sonia and her husband, Nivaldo Antônio Moura, with food that is totally free of pesticides. The abundance is such that the couple donates food to family members, friends and neighbors.