Idesam ajuda comunidades de Apuí a valorizar em 74% o preço da Copaíba
The project was selected through the “Floresta em Pé” public notice funded by the Amazon Fund
Text and photo by Henrique Saunier
Translated by Felipe Sá
For many years, families from the communities of the Aripuanã-Guariba Agroextractivist Settlement Project (PAE, in Portuguese), from the region of Apuí (Amazonas), have been fighting to promote the increasingly harder work of extracting the Copaíba oil. With support from the Floresta em Pé public notice and resources from the Amazon Fund, Idesam has been working together with these communities from the organization of the oil’s supply chain to its commercialization, ensuring a fairer price and increasing the income of associated families in almost 50%.
Widely used by the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, the liquid has already been sold by the producers for R$1.50/liter, mainly due to local middlemen. Thanks to the work carried out to organize the association, to train good extractivist practices and to support the logistics, Idesam noticed that the extractivists were able to earn 74% more than they used to, besides overcoming the production target by 169%. Altogether, over 3 tons of Copaíba oil were extracted with the Institute’s support.
Raylton Pereira, one of Idesam’s technicians in Apuí, highlighted that the project was able to provide important benefits to the community members, as well as expanding the producers’ knowledge regarding prices, loss calculations, management plans and techniques to serve foreign markets. “Our new goals are to increase the diversity of non-timber forest products, to capitalize resources for raw material and to use the Cidades Florestais App”, said Pereira.
The project funded by the Amazon Fund benefits 11 families in 5 communities from the Aripuanã-Guariba PAE: Vila Batista; Pro Jó 1; Pro Jó 2; Aruanã; and Bela Vista do Guariba. These communities are far from the municipality’s main office, they don’t have schools, health centers or community structure. This reality, together with the challenges related to the Copaíba, makes this activity increasingly rare among young people, something that the project can also try to help change.
This too is a challenge for the current president of the Aripuanã-Guariba Agroextractivist Association (ASAGA), Rosivaldo Góes. After learning the craft with his father, who also works with Copaíba, ten years ago, he keeps the tradition. He is one of the main characters of the video “Copaíba: The oil that helps keep the forest standing” (available in Portuguese), which Idesam released this week.
“We improved techniques, but they remain the same as years ago. My father used to tell me what to do, to cap the tree, so we got better and better. What changed a lot was the difficulty, because areas that have Copaíba got increasingly distant”, explains Góes about one of the effects of over 40 years of uncontrolled extraction.
The audiovisual material which is already available on all of Idesam’s social media shows a bit of the work carried out by the Institute with the communities during this period. This includes studies on Copaíba pricing, technical support to producers, business plan and finance workshops, in addition to forwarding samples for laboratory examination.