The first surprise on arriving at Abel Manto's farm is how green it is, in contrast with the dry brown surroundings. His beans and fruit trees seem oblivious to the persistent drought in the semi-arid hinterland of northeast Brazil, the worst in 50 years.
As part of the country’s growing emphasis on green tech research, Brazilian scientists have developed plastic solar panels that could revolutionise power generation from this clean, renewable energy source.
Valli, 50, and Sarasu, 60, have been working with Energy Plantation Projects India (EPPI) since inception in 2007, the income they earn forming an integral part of their household budgets. "We easily manage household work and a salary-paying job," they tell IPS.
Argentina could meet part of the rising world demand for "rare earth" metals, required for a variety of green technologies, advanced electronic devices and medical diagnostic equipment. The challenge lies in mining them in a sustainable fashion.