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AmazonBai, Brazil

  • Definition
    Devising project idea, defining the aim and main components
  • Design
    Specifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
  • Financing
    Searching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
  • Implementation
    Execution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
  • Maintenance
    Operational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
  • Scaling Up
    Scaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.

AmazonBai is a cooperative of açaí producers based in the northern Brazilian state of Amapá. Together with the support of reNature, AmazonBai wants to start a project that aims to pilot 30 hectares of regenerative agroforestry systems (RASs).

The RASs will include both cultivation of degraded areas and forest consortia located within Permanent Preservation Areas (PPAs) of açaí palm groves with over 2,900 hectares of potential regenerative agroforestry plots. In addition, a model RAS will be implemented in partnership with EFAM (Inclusive Community Economies in the State of Amapá-Brazil), a local agricultural family school, which will function as the main vehicle for the diffusion of knowledge on regenerative agroforestry among local communities.

Acai driving local income and ecological destruction

This project is expected to benefit 240 farmer families. Açaí is not just the main source of income for AmazonBai’s cooperative members: it is a global commodity and a fruit of vital importance for the food security of local communities in the Amazon rainforest. The açaí harvest occurs over six months of the year, and the off-season has a significant impact on cooperative members’ revenues and living conditions.

In addition, because of monoculture production, the limited diversity of other food resources for both consumption and commercialization in the region further aggravate local communities’ dietary- and income dependence on the commodity. Furthermore, the traditional slash-and-burn method of land clearance leads to soil erosion and degradation as well as to biodiversity loss, particularly in riparian habitats.

Source: AmazonBai

Generating impact through knowledge transfer

The implementation of RASs in degraded areas has yielded encouraging results worldwide, both in terms of environmental recovery and income generation for farmers. The present project aims to implement 31 RAS on two degraded areas of the Amazon rainforest (Bailique Archipelago and Beira-Amazonas). One of which will be in partnership with EFAM, a local agricultural family school. Through this knowledge hub, regenerative agroforestry can be scaled to other local producers through peer-to-peer learning. reNature will play a key role in monitoring and evaluating (M&E) socioeconomic and environmental milestones of the project to improve its visibility and scale.

Acai Berries / Source: Amazonbai

The main objective of the project is to scale the implementation of RAS among local açaí producers. It entails restoring degraded areas, generating income for Amazonbai’s cooperative members and EFAM students as well as ensuring food security through regenerative practices that will enhance economic resilience, support biodiversity, and increase productivity. The project also involves empowering cooperative members and EFAM students for them to disseminate knowledge on regenerative agriculture and diffuse sustainable practices among their families and communities.

Facilitating partnerships for lasting change

AmazonBai has collaborated with Instituto Terroá and EFAM for over three years on several different projects and in conjunction with numerous partners, including a local state university, public authorities, and civil society organizations.

Source: Amazonbai

In addition, AmazonBai has been awarded five environmental certifications in recent years, including the FSC® system, and its members have amassed a great deal of experience with socio-environmental practices that add value to economic production. The project will therefore build upon past experiences and develop new knowledge through a highly participatory methodology, enabling beneficiaries to disseminate regenerative practices while enhancing resilience and productivity and ensuring food security.

The implementation of RAS will occur in areas of environmental degradation resulting from deforestation. These systems will not only regenerate the areas but also significantly increase forest biodiversity, as various native tree species will be planted. Furthermore, maximizing biodiversity will contribute to soil recovery and thus help protect riparian forest zones and minimize erosion and landslides.

Source: Amazonbai

Empowering the local community

The implementation of RAS will have a tangible impact on beneficiaries and their family’s lives. Relying on a transformative educational training program, the project will inspire 30 farmer families and 80 agricultural students (approx. 50% women) to learn the benefits of RASs in theory and practice. In addition, over 130 farmer families might potentially benefit from the project due to the multiplication effect among Amazonbai’s cooperative members.

The project will be attentive to gender equity and actively encourage the engagement of women in all of the activities developed in partnership with local actors. Furthermore, due to higher revenues, farmers will have a greater incentive to remain with their families in forest areas and replicate regenerative practices within their communities. The capacity-building and educational programs will generate medium- and long-term societal, environmental, and economic gains.

Source: Amazonbai

Diversifying crops through RASs will leverage the commercialization of various local seasonal crops other than açaí, such as fresh fruits, fruit pulp, and oils. That will stimulate the local economy by generating income, enhancing resilience, and making it easier for producers to get access to public policies aimed at encouraging family farming, tackling food insecurity, and ensuring the provision of school meals, such as PNAE, PAA, and PGPMBio.

In addition, the project will pave the way for AmazonBai to process and market various other food products and thereby overcome the challenges faced during the açaí off-season.

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