Past Winners

São Paulo, Brazil : 2016 GRAND PRIZE WINNER

São Paulo: Growing Farmers’ Income, Shrinking Urban Sprawl

  • 11,967,825

    Population (city)
  • 21,090,791

    Population (metro)
  • João Doria

    Mayor
  • Portuguese

    Official Language
  • Directly elected mayor

    Type of Government
  • Additional facts

    • São Paulo contributes 12 percent of Brazil’s GDP

The Problem

Although 70 percent of the produce consumed in Brazil comes from family farms, urban sprawl makes it difficult for farmers on the outskirts of São Paulo to sell their produce. Discouraged, many farmers are leaving farming altogether—often selling their land for development, compounding the problem for other farmers and aggravating environmental problems that impact the water supply for 5 million people.

The Impact

São Paulo’s project will strengthen the local agriculture value chain. At one end, it aims to improve production by empowering local farmers through technical assistance and capacity building. This will allow farmers to adopt agroecological farming practices that will increase their revenue and protect vital watershed areas. At the other end of the chain, the project will encourage entrepreneurs to start businesses that support farmer’s participation in the value chain.

The Inspiration

São Paulo is planning to contain the City’s urban sprawl while promoting the sustainable use of rural land. They will train farmers to improve their production processes and raise their income, support local cooperatives that connect supply and demand in the agricultural market and will create a digital application to facilitate these processes.

The city has launched its technical assistance program for farmers with a focus on supporting better production practices and is planning a full expansion of the program. São Paulo will roll out the first phase of its support program to farms and a pilot of the digital application by the end of 2017.

Words from São Paulo

“Designing value chains in the city is about connecting the dots. We realized that technology could help us address the missing links in the local food production chain, and engage farmers.”


  • Additional facts

    • São Paulo contributes 12 percent of Brazil’s GDP

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