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Sergio Marques Santana, 32, is improving the lives of the low income population of the Baixada Fluminense, a proletarian suburb of Rio de Janeiro and of poor rural groups by developing concrete opportunities of exchange and support among these two groups. Read more

Nasser Youssef Nasr

Ashoka Fellow since May 1990

Brazil
Nasser Youssef Nasr, 35, an agronomist from the small coastal state of Espírito Santo, is adapting an important discovery to Brazilian conditions and spreading it to Brazilian farmers. He's showing that by growing crops amidst mixed native groundcover and weeds, farmers can both limit pest damage... Read more
Merlong is helping small farmers in the state of Piaui overcome historically defeatist attitudes to become more productive. Through CERMO, a non-profit educational and consulting organization he co-founded, he hopes to help the region's small farmers become more productive and combine to achieve... Read more

Oscar Arruda d'avila

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2000

Brazil
Oscar Arruda has devised a strategy for enabling farmers in Brazil's semi-arid northeast to exploit an abundant local plant as an alternative crop that provides economic self-sufficiency in an otherwise depressed local economy. Read more

Rubens Gomes

Ashoka Fellow since Jan 2003

Brazil
Rubens Gomes is working to slow the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon while teaching rural and urban community members how to use the resources in a mutually beneficial and sustainable way. Rubens's program develops lines of alternative certified wood products–from musical instruments to... Read more

Thaise Guzzatti

Ashoka Fellow since Feb 2007

Brazil
Thaise has developed an agrotourism model that brings new sources of income to rural families, prompts rural development, preserves local culture and community, and benefits tourists. Read more
Using sustainable technologies, José Roberto da Fonseca e Silva is recreating how remote rural communities in semi-arid regions cope with drought by tailoring a micro productive and commercialization system with high aggregate value products. Read more

Wagner Gomes

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2011

Brazil
Wagner Gomes has created a development initiative that unites students from rural backgrounds with impoverished farmers in the Northeast of Brazil to collaborate with one another and increase their productivity. Read more

Judi Aubel

Ashoka Fellow since Oct 2012

Senegal
Judi Aubel is improving the lives of women, children and families by empowering grandmothers, an abundant and underutilized cultural resource, to catalyze change in socio-cultural norms related to many issues, including girls’ education, early and forced marriage, teen pregnancy, female genital... Read more

Fabrice Hégron

Ashoka Fellow since May 2015

France
In response to the increasing industrialization of dairy farming in France, Fabrice is developing an entrepreneurial-driven small-scale farming alternative that reinvents the role of farmers keeps them in the agricultural and economic landscape. Through new modes of production and distribution that... Read more