Local development

Camargo Corrêa Institute implements an agricultural project in communities in the state of Maranhão

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 12:54
The project currently helps 75 small farmers with techniques to increase productivity The project currently helps 75 small farmers with techniques to increase productivity

The Farinha de Raízes project was started at the Afro-Brazilian community of Mamuna, in the city of Alcântara (MA), with the purpose of raising the productivity of cassava planting – from the current 5 tons per hectare/season to 8 tons, with a 62.5% increase – and improving the quality of processed flour, strengthening the production chain and incrementing the income of families involved. The project is executed by Camargo Corrêa Institute (IC), Cyclone 4 Consortium, and the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES), under the technical coordination of Aequitas Institute, in cooperation with Charity Association Nova Galileia of Mamuna Village Residents.

With 20 months of duration, the Farinha de Raízes project directly benefits 75 small farmers and counts on a total investment of R$ 543 thousand. The initiative also includes two other Afro-Brazilian communities in the area: Brito and Baracatatiua. In addition to increasing the productivity, the project will allow building the Flour House in Mamuna. The three communities will receive rural technical support to develop the handling and planting of cassava. In Mamuna, several actions will be targeted at improving the processing and commercialization of roots. Small farmers will learn about planning, soil preparation and remediation, planting techniques, pest control, pruning, and harvesting.

"The community uses almost the full cassava production for subsistence, and we want to help them to triple the sales income of the Association", says Felipe Soares, analyst of the Ideal Future program by Camargo Corrêa Institute. Soares tells that proven techniques will be implemented to raise the production of cassava roots, as well as to optimize flour processing stages. Another step is to create a brand for the produced flour, with a certification of an Afro-Brazilian community product, and thus leverage its sales. "To make this happen in an efficient manner we will use simple, easy-to-adopt technologies. From planting to harvesting, the approach will be participative. Everyone in the community will build a practice of "how", "where", "for what", and "for whom", always fostering the development of local skills so that communities can be self-sufficient in their development process."