EcoHouse Brazil has been in the news quite recently, having been covered in various forums, UK’s home and travel website and even on Yahoo. For those few people who haven’t heard of them, EcoHouse Group are an international property developer with offices in teh UK, Brazil, North America, China, Malaysia and Singapore and are world leader in international property investment thanks to their involvement in Minha Casa Minha Vida, The Brazilain government’s social housing programme.

Lot’s of states in the North East of Brazil have praised EcoHouse for setting up offices and building their first developments in this part of the country, one thankful state is Sergipe, here’s a little more about this tiny north eastern state.

The north eastern state of Sergipe is Brazil’s smallest and is downright tiny compared to some of the others. It is only 22,000 sq km which makes it slightly smaller than the US state of Massachusetts or slightly larger than the Republic of Israel. The population is around 2.1 million, about a quarter of whom live in or around the state capital of Aracaju. Other important towns are the former capital São Cristóvão with 75.000 people, Estancia (62,000), Simão Dias at 40.000 and Laranjeiras which has 27.000.

In historical times this whole part of Brazil was repeatedly struggled over by the Portuguese (and their successors in the Brazilian Empire) and the Dutch and the final victory and domination by the former was by no means a foregone conclusion. Another factor which caused great damage was the constant series of raids by French pirates along the coast. At long last these external threats were overcome.

The coastal area of Sergipe has swamps and sandy beaches as its natural environment while inland, as with other states in this part of the country, Savanna grasslands dominate the landscape. The northern boundary of the state is provided by the São Francisco River and the natural drainage of that part of Sergipe flows into it. On the other hand, the southern half of the state drains directly east towards the Atlantic, through a number of smaller rivers including the Irapiranga and the Real. These tend to be navigable for some of their length but extensive sandbars have prevented the development of good ports on the coast.

The more naturally wooded areas of Sergipe tend to have good levels of rainfall and the soil is therefore very fertile. Agriculture has historically been very important in these areas (notably sugar and cotton) and nowadays it remains vital. By far the biggest part of the State’s economy rests on the production and processing of sugarcane. The state produces one and a half million tonnes of sugar each year.

The other large crops include Cassava (600,000 tonnes p.a.) and over fourteen million oranges. Growing, harvesting, processing and distributing these products dominate the state’s economy but of course other industries (such as leather and textiles) do exist. A newer factor is the national government’s encouragement to develop a local petroleum industry.

Physical contact with the rest of Brazil ( and the outside world generally) tends to rely on the Airport at Maracaju ( not one of the country’s finest) and the two major highways, the BR-101 and the BR-235.

EcoHouse Group have offices in Brazil, the UK, North America, the Middle East, Singapore, Malaysia and China and have been building Minha Casa Minha Vida homes since 2009, EcoHouse are reducing the housing shortage and giving people the chance to make Secure Investments in Brazil through a secure government run programme.