The hearts of palm is a product extracted from the Açai or the Pupunha palm (Eurterpe Oleracea or Bactris Gasipaes). Palm heart can be harvested by selecting only some of the stems, year after year, without killing the individual while it develops new shoots. The removal of older stems corresponds to a form of sustainable management for these palmtrees.
Palmito can be grilled with cheese, added to salads or consumed pure. It has a soft texture and a mild slightly acid taste. Being rich in vitamins and poor in calories, it is also very healthy.
Reca is a cooperative in Rondonia that promotes agroforestry syetems as an alternative to cattle-raising. Farmers associated to Reca reach higher revenues with their agroforestry-systems and at the same time contribute to protect ecosystem services.
Brazil Nut: The Brazil nut or Amazon nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a product that is part of the identity of traditional communities from the Amazon. It is used for food and as a source of income.
Well-known and well-regarded companies
in the food business, both domestic and foreign, source best qualities from the extractivist
reserves in the Amazon.
The Brazilnut is also widely used as ingredient in the production of breads, cakes,
cookies and ice creams. The tree of the Brasil nut grows up to 50m high. The nut itself comes along in a
large capsule containing between 10 and 25 seeds (nuts).
It is also possible to extract an excellent quality oil
from it. One tree can deliver up to 50 liters of oil each year. This healthy oil, rich in unsaturated fatty acids can
be used for cooking. In the cosmetic industry the seed oil is considered one of the best
conditioners for damaged hair. It is also used for anti-aging-products.
Cooperacre is Brazils biggest producer of Brazilnuts. With more than 2500 partners Cooperacre produces 3000 tons of organic Brasilnuts each year. Founded in 2001 the business is constantly growing and aiming to become the worlds biggest producer of Brazilnuts. They are already cooperating with 3 companies from the private sector.
Brasil nut tree
RESEX Vila Franca
Brasil is the origin
of the rubber tree (Hevea
. Although 94% of the worldwide natural rubber production
comes from southeast Asia, the original extraction technique remained in
Brasil. Whereas in Asia production is mainly standartized in big plantations,
traditional people in the Amazon do still collect rubber in the
most traditional way of excrativism. Trees are not planted in monocultures. Instead, the forest remains in its natural composition. The production and the corresponding marketing activities are still important
for traditional communities living in several protected areas, particularly those
located in the Amazon. Providing an income to thousands of families from
local communities, part of the natural rubber production is sold to industries
and the other part is used in the manufacturing of various products, such as
footwear, gloves, bags, tableware, sculptures and clothing accessories.
productivity is much lower than in conventional plantations, but at the
same time the ecosystem remains untouched and traditional techniques are preserved.
Açaí (Euterpe oleracea and E. precatoria)
found throughout the Amazon basin and is particularly abundant in the eastern
region. It is one of the most common palms of the state of Pará, and dominates
the landscape along rivers, sometimes in almost pure stands. Açaí prefers flooded and
wetland areas and easily regenerates.
The pulp of its fruit is a major protein and carbohydrate source in the diet of the communities living along the margins of the rivers. It is traditionally consumed throughout the entire northern region, and more recently, its use was popularized around the Brazilian territory and overseas, considerably increasing the demand for this product.
The fresh fruit is very fragile so that it needs to be processed to freezedried powder or frozen pulp for exportation. From the pulp a tasty sorbet can be prepared that is usually served with other fruits such as banana and guaraná. The açaí powder can be used as a supplement because of açaís high nutritional values.
Experience the quality of Açaí at the tasting event during Amazon Bonn
© GIZ, ATA
The extraction of vegetable oils without felling trees enhances the values of the forests and constitutes an important alternative of income for traditional peoples (including non-indigenous ones). The oils extracted from "Copaíba" (Copaifera langsdorffii), "Andiroba" (Carapa guianensis), "Murmuru" (Astrocaryum murmuru), "Bacuri" (Platonia esculenta), Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) and "Babaçu" (Orbignya speciosa), among others, are increasingly used as inputs for national and international cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Traditional extraction techniques maintain the natural properties and the caracteristic taste of the valuable oils. In the industrial refining process most of those properties would get lost.
Yanomami mushrooms are known from the indigenious tribe Sanöma, part of the Yanomami people. In the region of Awaris, the mushrooms emerge as an income alternative. The first step for product development was a research collaboration between indigenous people and the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA). The Sanöma contributed detailed knowledge about the biodiversity of their territories. In centuries of coexistence, they learned how to live in and with the forest without harming it. The mushrooms grow on the ground of the forest, mostly on rotten wood. The Sanöma collect them on a daily basis.
To facilitate the sales, a value
chain was designed that matches with the special requirements of the Yanomami. To
dehydrate the mushrooms, a mixed technique of fire and/or sun is used, makinge the installation of major machinery in the communities unnecessary.
The Guaraná powder is obtained from the roasted and ground seeds of guarana tree (Paullinia cupana). The berries of the tree do not ripen all at the same time, so they need to be picked constantly.
It has strong energizing properties. Guaraná consumption helps to fight mental and physical fatigue. This is due to its high concentration of caffeine (8%, coffee has 2%). But, as the composition of Guaraná is different from coffee the caffeine is released much slowlier, causing a gentler effect. Guaraná also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances which can contribute to a better health.
The Tucumã tree (Astrocaryum aculeatum)
is part of the palm family and reaches between 10 and 15m of height. The leaves of this native tree are very resistant. They are used to create all types of baskets, bowls or jewellery, which are part of traditional cultures from the Tapajós and Marajó regions.
Especially women strongly benefit from its commercialisation, since these beautiful objects are mostly procuced by females.
After harvesting, the straw is put into water for several days and then colored with natural pigments. After that, the various objects are produced. The techniques are passed down from generation to generation. The villages are settled in the Santarém region between the rivers Tapajós and Arapiuns.
The cacau fruit (Theobroma cacao) is probably one of the most well-known fruits of the tropical rainforest. Because the cacau plant is very sensitive to deseases it can´t be grown in big plantations, making it a perfect partner for agroforestry systems. Other plants and trees like banana, palm or rubber are planted together with it in order to protect the tree from wind and sun. The cacao powder is produced from the roasted seeds of the Cacau fruit which has the form and size of a Papaya. It is also possible to collect cacao from wild growing trees, which is by far the most sutainable form to obtain this tasty seeds.
In its pure form cacoa is rich in minerals and vitamins and processed to chocolate it is probably one of the most delicous foods on earth. As chocolate production is quite a complicated process, cacau is an ideal fruit for value chain development.
The flavor of the Baniwa Chili (capsicum) is very strong and fascinating because of its complexity. A Glass of Chili Powder generally contains 12 different species of paprica. In total 74 species are being cultivated by the Baniwas at the river Içana. The commercialization of this product especially benefits women because they are the most involved in the production chain.