The Fordlandia company town is considered to be a textbook case for failed mega-maniac projects in the Amazon, much like the later Daniel Ludwig cellulose and rice production project in Jari, also located in Par state, a cemetery for overly optimistic ideas about dominating the rainforest with advanced technical know-how and business savvy. However, not only foreign investors have faced difficulty in developing the Amazon. Brazilian planners also devised a number of settlement programmes that failed during the twentieth century for many of the same reasons. Today, success in developing farming systems that are environmentally sound, economically viable and socially inclusive is still as elusive as ever. The comparison of these experiences provides important lessons for understanding the serial failure of land settlement schemes in the Amazon.