Increased Brazilian melon exports create tensions over water

In the Chapada do Apodi, a plateau that stretches across Rio Grande do Norte and neighbouring Ceará state, things began to change with the arrival of large melon producers in the late 1990s.

Farmers that previously grew red rice as well as beans, vegetables and some fruits, also decided to invest in the fruit, hoping to increase their income. “The idea was to plant melons for export,” one farmer recalls. “Even back then, fruit farming for export was not a safe bet for small fish like us.” He tells us how the collective sought a bank loan to support this venture, a debt they would struggle to pay back and which caused irreconcilable divisions among the group.

In 2012, Ceará began to experience a major period of drought that lasted for eight years, with the amount of water that left the aquifer much greater than that which recharged it, Gadelha explains. “So the aquifer has been showing a deficit year after year due to the expansion of production, of the planted area, and above all, superimposed on this, the drought period.”


Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.