Brazil nut production generates income and quality of life for the people of Wai-Wai in Roraima

August 9, 2012

Brazil nut production generates income and quality of life for the people of Wai-Wai in Roraima

The expectation of generating income, enhance the native product and improve the quality of life in the communities of indigenous lands Wai-wai and Trombetas-Mapuera indigenous area has been reached with the positive outcome of the work of extraction of the Brazil nut, produced in a sustainable way by the indigenous people of Wai-Wai, located in the southern region of the State of Roraima. By means of a contract in 2011 between the processing of vegetable oils, Palmaplan, the Association of indigenous people of Wai-Wai (APIW) and the Association of indigenous people of Wai-Wai Xaary (APIWX) it was possible to sell 2,000 bags of nuts, of which 700 have already been delivered. The initiative has a partner of the National Indian Foundation (Regional coordination of Boa Vista/RR), (Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento-Conab/RR) and supporting service for Micro and small enterprises (Sebrae/RR). Even with difficulties of access, both terrestrial and fluvial, indigenous to the region of Jatapuzinho took delivery of 700 bags of nuts in a timely manner. The other 1,300 bags, finalizing the agreement 2,000, should be delivered by the region’s communities and Xaary Anauá. Besides the production included in the contract, the Palmaplan purchased from Jatapú region other 1,050 bags. The delivery of the remaining production is scheduled for the end of the semester this year. The operational Manager of Palmaplan, Alexandre Baptiste, accompanying delivery directly to the river banks, pointed out that the contract has been fulfilled in a satisfactory manner, meeting the company’s expectations. The company, located in the village of Ecuador, South of the State of Roraima, is the only local company to invest in communities and, in the face of good results, intends to expand the marketing of its products abroad.

Sustainable production

Sustainable activity of extraction from the nut is considered by Wai-Wai is a great achievement. They highlight that the sale has been satisfactory and that, with the activity, the product was valued and the indigenous workforce qualified to work in the collection. The acquired benefits communities to enable the purchase of materials and tools such as boats and motors, which are used for sustaining and improving the quality of life of families, so as to increase the own work of hunting and gathering of Brazil nuts. With the implementation of the project, was reduced to chestnut sale to middlemen, who were constantly on the banks of the rivers Jatapú and Anauá waiting. The middlemen, most of the time, bought the product for below market values, reducing the gain of the indigenous. Geraldo Wai-Wai reports that before the chestnut was sold with the value so low that often was not enough to pay even the repair of engines of the boats used in the collection. Commented that the sale is fairer and the benefit encourages not only him, but all the indigenous communities involved.



The Regional coordination of Boa Vista/RR, through the Core of productive activity (Nuap), presented the project proposal of Brazil nut Extraction and, for its execution, understood that it was necessary to count with the participation of other federal agencies and institutions that could contribute to the implementation of activities. In this sense, Luiz Alba, Juvino Nuap, pointed out that the potential of the extractive activity in indigenous lands should receive follow-up for a better management of the chestnuts and the marketing of quality products. Through the inventory of training programme was conducted for funding Conab $ 197 million for the two indigenous groups could acquire the necessary equipment to chestnut extraction works. Part of the investment has been repaid with the sale of chestnut, by contract with the Palmaplan. According to Conab’s Superintendent, Iriseli Buarque, “the intention is, increasingly, provide the investment for which the natives are able to perform the job of extracting chestnut”. Sebrae proceeded by hiring consultants to training programs and currently offers technical consulting to work with indigenous peoples in the management of resources, the costs incurred during the collection and consolidation of production data. There is still the prospect of starting a discussion with the Indians about cooperatives. At the end of June, a team with Funai representative/RR and of other agencies involved in the project held a visit in chestnut collection databases. Were indigenous communities Trumpet Mapuera indigenous area and Wai-Wai to verify the application of the good practices in the management of the chestnuts and harvesting, the construction of dryers and their way of handling. The project is good experience of sustainability in indigenous communities by promoting a change of life for the populations that inhabit the Indian lands Wai-Wai and Trombetas Mapuera indigenous area. It is an activity carried out in a collective way, for the Wai-Wai, leads them to overcome difficulties and achieve the purpose of use and manage their territories, generating income and production without harming the environment.


Source: Boa Vista CR/RR


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