Two women walk between rows of pumpkin plants in the outskirts of Promissão, a small agricultural town about 300 miles north of São Paulo. One of them, Donna Marinova, who is in her 50s, owns this farm. Her companion is Joise Lopes, 38. Together, the two women run a farmers’ cooperative in this farming community.
A few brown cows graze in the fields nearby as Lopes and Marinova head towards a cluster of tall, woody cassava plants. They stop by a couple of taller plants, bend down and pull out the roots with their bare hands.