The first surprise upon arriving at Abel Manto’s farm is how green it is, in contrast with the dry, brown surroundings. His beans and fruit trees clash against the persistent drought in this semi-arid hinterland of northeast Brazil. This happens thanks to the collection of rainwater in tanks and therefore beans also grow despite two years of continuous drought, the worst in 50 years.
The drought, which has lasted 27 months so far, caused the loss of 60 percent of Mr Manto’s 147 fruit trees of different varieties, such as custard apples, oranges and guavas.
The new government is moving ahead but this still will not suffice.
As a matter of fact, Abel Manto’s situation is an exceptional case but the situation of the region is still critical and government projects are not really helping the rural farmers of the area, especially those most vulnerable to droughts.