BRAZIL: Kilometer 47

On the campus of Brazil's Rural University last week, the atmosphere was anything but collegiate. In black cassocks and brown robes, 41 priests and monks said their prayers at improvised altars in the dormitory halls, then went on to lectures and field demonstrations on crop rotation, irrigation and rural sanitation. What they learned in their month's stay would be passed along with their sermons and ministrations at outposts in 16 Brazilian states. The course was part of the university's effort to teach Brazil its biggest lesson: how to grow its own food.

If only 4% of its land were properly cultivated,...

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