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Cooperative gives example of how to keep the Cerrado standing

Family farming as the protagonist of conservation

by Luana Luizy, Communication Officer, International Education Institute of Brazil

 

The Sertão Veredas, in the north of Minas Gerais, is not only the scene of the writings of Guimarães Rosa - a Minas Gerais author who knew how to describe local regionalism -, it is also the place where extraction is the protagonist in the generation of income, in conservation of the Cerrado and sustainable management.

Family farming products produced and marketed by COPABASE. Photo: Terra Mar Filmes / COPABASE Collection

THE Sustainable Family Agriculture Cooperative Based on the Solidarity Economy (COPABASE) it has 140 members and provides an example of good practices to keep the Cerrado standing. Headquartered in the municipality of Arinos (MG), the cooperative also operates in Bonfinópolis de Minas, Buritis, Formoso, Pintópolis, Riachinho, Urucuia and Uruana de Minas.

Focused on the cultivation, production and commercialization of fruit pulps from the Cerrado & #8211; such as acerola, mango, guava, tamarind, mangaba, cagaita, araticum, sour coconut and umbu & #8211; , COPABASE supplies schools in the region, while giving employment to local producers.

“We struggle to maintain conservation, but also to generate income for rural families, who live off the production of their small properties”, Dionete Barboza, director of COPABASE is proud.

The diversification of production chains - harvested in different periods & #8211; guarantees income throughout the year. The products sold range from cassava to flour, brown sugar, the baru, honey, and, more recently, organic cotton.

 

Jyoung farmers from the urucu backlands in the baru harvest. Photo: Terra Mar Filmes / COPABASE Collection

The baru chain

Although the cooperative's flagship product is the production of fruit pulp from the Cerrado, the “golden goose” is the baru chestnut, common almond in the regions of Goiás, northern Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso and Maranhão.

The food has specific production at a certain time of the year - before the rainy season - and brings with it the principles of sustainability, since it is collected manually, in an extractive, artisanal way. “The baru has a differential, as it is inside a fortress (the bark); and extracting the almond has a higher financial cost for us, but it gives us a greater margin of performance ”, explains Dionete.

Pandemic

About 80% of COPABASE's income came from the sale of fruit pulp from the Cerrado to local schools; however, suspension of classes due to Covid-19, impacted the income of small producers.

Without government support, the association needed to reinvent itself. “It was very difficult, as we had a large stock of food. However, we managed to raise funds for the distribution of basic baskets with products from family farming. Thus, we were able to place a good part of our inventory on the market. The pandemic sparked this look of thinking about the next, but also of covering the financial hole", tells Dionete.

 

Organic cotton and the work of the spinner in the hinterland region of Vale do Urucuia, Minas Gerais. Photo: Terra Mar Filmes / COPABASE Collection

Partnership with CEPF and IEB

The promotion of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and support from the International Institute of Education of Brazil (IEB), through the project & #8220; Sustainable Production Practices as Promoters of Biodiversity Conservation in the Urucuian Wilderness & #8221;, contributed to the socioeconomic organization, logistical support, training and even exchanges as a way to enhance the COPABASE extractivism.

“We invest in training to strengthen family farming and generate income for small farmers and traditional peoples. We understand that, by encouraging agroextractivism, we also contribute to the conservation of the environment ”, explains Aryanne Amaral, project assistant for CEPF Cerrado's regional implementation strategy.

The production of foods such as brown sugar, rapadura and manioc flour valued the traditional knowledge of families, while bringing technical knowledge, adding differentiated and quality products.

According to Dionete Barboza, the partnership with CEPF and IEB was a foundation for producers, as it allowed them to develop actions, work new production chains and conduct training aimed at environmental management within schools.

“All the technical guidance work that CEPF helped us provided for the systematization of the methodologies of our work. We did a lot that was not written; today, we synthesize in eight primers in areas such as management, agroecology and women”, Adds Dionete.

 

For more information about Copabase, access the site of the cooperative.


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

 

Family farmers launch virtual store with products from the Cerrado and Caatinga biomes

Central do Cerrado's e-commerce brings together more than 30 associations and cooperatives from different parts of the country

Pequi extraction (Caryocar brasiliense), Community of Pedras, Januária, MG. Photo: Andre Dib

Baru, jatobá, pequi, umbu. Regional ingredients that symbolize the biodiversity found in Brazilian flavors. The Cerrado and Caatinga harvest inspires farmers living in these territories - in the states of Minas Gerais, Federal District, Tocantins, Bahia, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Maranhão, Pará and Goiás - to benefit food products and produce handicrafts with cultural wealth that guarantees autonomy and income.

Communities of extractive family farmers lead this work, which rarely occupy supermarket shelves. Together they form the Central do Cerrado: a cooperative formed by more than 30 community organizations (between cooperatives and associations) and acts as a bridge between those who produce and those who consume. In times of strengthening the delivery service, the Central opens a new platform where the internet user from anywhere in the country finds more than 200 items and can receive them without leaving home.

“With the situation of COVID19 and social isolation, many of these communities had their production outlets compromised. Sale through the online store is a way to sell products from these communities and guarantee income for agroextractive families. Commercialization helps to keep the Cerrado and Caatinga standing, conserve native biodiversity, encourages staying in the countryside, values local culture and the traditional way of life ”, emphasizes the executive secretary of the Central do Cerrado, Luis Roberto Carrazza.

The agroindustries of the producer communities of the Central do Cerrado operate observing the basic care of social distance, use of masks, extra care for personal hygiene, sterilization of the structures of equipment and supplies: details also observed by the staff of the Central do Cerrado in the preparation and shipping online store orders.

Pequi chestnuts (Cooperuaçu). Photo: Marcus Desimoni / NITRO

Socio-biodiversity products 

Among the purchase options are foods such as special flours with emphasis on the babassu mesocarp (500g, R$ 15) from the Cooperative of Small Agroextractive Producers of Esperantinópolis (Coopaesp) of the traditional community of quebradeiras, in Esperantinópolis, in Maranhão; the buriti flour (1 kg, R$ 50) from the cooperative Grande Sertão de Montes Claros, Northern Minas Gerais - in addition to the non-transgenic corn flake (500g, R$ 7) (raw material for northeastern couscous) from the Agricultural Cooperative Regional Joint of Irecê (Copirecê), of Irecê, in Bahia.

Brazilian chestnuts are also highlighted on the new website, among them the chestnut-of-baru of the Copabase cooperative (300g, R$35), super protein and energetic, one of the great icons of the Cerrado. Little used by chefs, the chestnut-of-pequi (100g, R$15) is also among the oilseeds offered by the Cerrado Central side by side with roasted licuri almonds (100g, R$7), from the Production Cooperative of the Piedmont Region from Diamantina (Coopes), also called coquinho in Bahia and rich in proteins. In the drinks category, the page features the pequi liqueur from the family brand Savana Brasil (700ml, R$70) and the sour coconut fruit beer (600ml, R$ 25) from the Grande Sertão cooperative, in Montes Claros, Minas Gerais.

Baru nut (Copabase). Photo: Raimundo Sampaio / Cajuí Digital Communication Collection

In addition to the products, the Internet user finds information about the social origin of the producing communities and the territorial origin. Among the contents of the platform are recipes, technical sheets and usage tips.

Learn more about Central do Cerrado

The Central do Cerrado is a cooperative formed by several community organizations of family farmers from the Cerrado and Caatinga. Our mission is to maintain the traditional ways of life and conservation of the territories where these peoples live by selling products developed through the sustainable use of native biodiversity.

Service
Launch of the Central do Cerrado virtual store

Day 15/05 (Friday)
Ecosocial Products from the Cerrado and Caatinga

Deliveries all over Brazil
www.centraldocerrado.org.br

 Press contact: cajui@cajuicomunicacaodigital.com.br


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

Baru productive chain - good, clean and fair

by Luana Campos, via ECOA

Typical Cerrado chestnut, the baru (Dipteryx alata) has been gaining more and more space inside and outside the country with high added value. This is because, in addition to the great taste and its proven health benefits, the fruit of baruzeiro has a strong socio-environmental component.

1st Baru Fair Trade and Solidarity Workshop at the IX Cerrado Peoples Meeting and Fair, Brasília, DF. Photo: ©Cajuí Communication Collection

The subject was addressed in “1st Baru Chain Fair and Solidarity Workshop”, during the IX Meeting and Fair of the Cerrado People. Organized by Sustainable Family Farming Cooperative Based on the Solidarity Economy (Copabase), the workshop was funded by the Cerrado Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and support from ECOA, Rede Cerrado, International Institute of Education of Brazil (IEB), among other institutions.

In the Cerrado, baru extractivism has promoted income generation, autonomy and the recovery of the self-esteem of extractive family farmers. A virtuous process that helps to settle families and young people in the countryside, contributing directly to the conservation of the biome.

For the extractivist and director of Cerrado Production, Research and Training Center (Ceppec)Rosana Sampaio, “communities are for two reasons working with baru: one is the main one, the conservation of these species, this way of life, the preservation of the place where we live. Because we want to leave our children a balanced environment, and we fight for it. And the other is that we need to foster to stay there, we need to generate income ”.

Read the full article on site from ECOA!

Miranda-Bodoquena Corridor Project

The Miranda-Bodoquena Corridor project: filling social and environmental gaps, which was executed by ECOA and was supported by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) and the International Institute of Education of Brazil (IEB), was closed this year and aimed to assist the revegetation and conservation of the Cerrado, through the strengthening of non-timber extraction by communities and settlers of Mato Grosso do Sul.

With the proposal to optimize the forest restoration process started in 2016 in three rural settlements; will improve Cerrado fruit collection management, like baru and bocaiúva and sensitize the market, promoting enhancement of by-products of native fruits of the Cerrado, the project achieved important impacts for the region.

In the end, the project expanded 1 of the 22.95 hectares of Mato Grosso do Sul Cerrado which were surrounded in 2016 with support from another project. This area is being restored, restoring the native vegetation and the recovery of 03 springs / streams: Madalena Stream and Lima Stream, in the Andalucia Settlement, Nioaque; and Agachi Stream, Bandeirantes Settlement, Miranda. In the area were also recorded the return of presence of native fauna, like a raccoon or a mangrove dog and a tuiiu. In addition to this restoration process, the project team worked to promote the production of seedlings of native species of the Cerrado, made by settlers, in their own lots, giving them access to the seedlings, which are hardly found for sale in public or private nurseries in the state. By the end of the project were produced 100 seedlings of baru, which were intended for planting in the fenced areas. Fifty guavira seedlings were also produced, in the early stages, 50 jatoba seedlings, and the project ended with the murici seeds, which will be sown later this year.


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

 

Project in focus: Miranda-Bodoquena Corridor

The Miranda-Bodoquena Corridor project: filling social and environmental gaps, which was executed by ECOA and was supported by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) and International Institute of Education of Brazil (IEB), was closed in January (2019) and aimed to assist the revegetation and conservation of the Cerrado, through the strengthening of non-timber extraction by communities and settlers of Mato Grosso do Sul.

With the purpose of optimizing the process of forest restoration started in 2016 in three rural settlements; will improve Cerrado fruit collection management, such as baru and bocaiúva and sensitize the market, promoting enhancement of by-products of native fruits of the Cerrado, the project achieved important impacts for the Miranda-Bodoquena corridor region.

In the end, the project expanded 1 of the 22.95 hectares of Mato Grosso do Sul Cerrado which were surrounded in 2016 with support from another project. This area is being restored, restoring the native vegetation and the recovery of 03 springs / streams: Madalena Stream and Lima Stream, in the Andalucia Settlement, Nioaque; and Agachi Stream, Bandeirantes Settlement, Miranda. In the area were also recorded the return of presence of native fauna, like raccoon or mangrove dog it's the tuiiú. In addition to this restoration process, the project team worked to promote the production of seedlings of native species of the Cerrado, made by settlers, in their own lots, giving them access to the seedlings, which are hardly found for sale in public or private nurseries in the state. By the end of the project 100 baru seedlings were produced, which were intended for planting in the fenced areas. Fifty guavira seedlings were also produced, in the early stages, 50 jatoba seedlings, and the project ended with the murici seeds, which will be sown this year.

ECOA staff also implemented the participatory monitoring in the project, through the citizen science tool, where the settlers indicated the fortnightly progress of the reforested areas and offered workshops that worked on the improvement of native fruit handling and processing techniques and the use of Agroforestry Systems properties, as an alternative to conservation and income generation in the settlements. The workshops also contributed to the rearticulation of the chain of local extractivismespecially baru, as well as the fair price debate. This was an opportunity to work to spread the potential of the native fruits of the Cerrado, consolidating product purchase markets. This articulation enabled the generation of alternative income for settled families, as well as the articulation of families from various settlements in the Miranda-Bodoquena corridor, for the collection and marketing of the chestnut itself.

Want to know more about other projects supported by CEPF Cerrado? Access the site and check it out!

Also know the actions of ECOA in the Cerrado of Mato Grosso do Sul!

 

Area of 22 ha that has undergone a reforestation process and is being monitored by the project. ECOA Collection
Cerrado areas under restoration in Miranda, MS. Aryanne Amaral / IEB Collection
Native fauna in the area under restoration. ECOA Collection
ECOA Collection

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

 

 

FENABARU 2018: Second National Baru Party

 

Here comes the Second National Party of Baru (FENABARU 2018) that will take place in the municipality of Arinos, Minas Gerais, August 16-19, 2018. Our partner, Sustainable Family Farming Cooperative Based on Solidarity Economy - COPABASE, is one of the partners of this initiative, which has the support of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) It's from Brazilian International Institute of Education (IEB)through the project Sustainable Production Practices as Promoters of Conservation of Biodiversity in the Urucuiano Sertão, which aims to diversify sustainable agroextractive production in the municipalities of Arinos, Riachinho, Bonfinópolis de Minas, Urucuia, Chapada Gaucha, Uruana de Minas, Natalândia and Pintópolis.

Check out part of the schedule:


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.