(English) Study seeks to improve production chains of Amazon products

(English) Study seeks to improve production chains of Amazon products

[:en]A study conducted through a partnership between IDESAM and Natura intends to analyse and propose improvements to the production chain of Andiroba and Murumuru seeds in the extractavist communities of the Médio Juruá region. These communities are within and near two protected areas: the Uacari Sustainable Development Reserve (state) and the Extractavist Reserve of Médio Juruá (federal).

The partnership was signed in May, 2012 and will continue until March, 2013 and comprises of three stages: review of state of the art production chains, assessment of the current situation, technical and organisation recommendations and, finally, proposals for a Workplace Safety Programme. The study involves approximately 400 families, distributed in 30 communities on the margins of Juruá, which are involved in seed collecting activates. It involves a complex chain of transport logistics for the forest seeds, which extends from the Itamarati municipality, passing through Carauari, until the Juruá municipality.

According to André Vianna, co-ordinator of IDESAM’s Natural Resource Management Programme (PMN) and responsible for the study, the project will evaluate alternatives for improving production systems, which may increase the quality of the products at a lower production cost and with greater financial returns for the raw-material collectors, while increase production without causing environmental damage. “Mapping the actors involved in the chain, their respective forms of acting, as well as the existing production agreements will help us formulate these alternatives”, he explains.

Stages of research

Currently, the researchers involved are awaiting a research license from the management organs of the UC’s where the study will be carried out – ICMBio and Ceuc. A series of interviews with institutions and people with a history on the site have already been carried out in Manaus and Carauari. The goal is to obtain an up to date panorama of the organisational arrangement as well as of the activities and studies already carried out, and from there, to direct methodologies, analyse productive chains and make workplace safety proposals. “After that, a workshop will be held in Carauri with the actors in the productive chains of these products”, says Vianna.

For the next steps, researchers point out the mapping of existing processes in the production chains in order to understand the current state of the mode of production, elaborated with interviews with the interviews with CODAEMJ, AMARU, ASPROC and CNS.

In addition to the interviews, information collected in the field during the production stages will confirm the results. After mapping, the production cost will be quantified, evaluating:

• Collection;
• Transport to dryers;
• Drying and storage;
• Transport to the plant;
• Drying and milling plant;
• Crude oil extraction;
• Loading and Transport to Carauari;
• Final Transport.
In each process the following will be quantified:
• Operational performance (man or machine hours necessary for the execution of the activity);
• Labour cost, supplies and equipment acquisition;
• Fees and administrative costs.

History

According to Natura’s records, the marketing of vegetable oils began from the implementation of a biodiesel production project as an alternative source of electric energy for the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM) in 2000. However, due to the high market price of Andiroba oil, the project changed course, enabling the installation of a processing plant in the Roque community – the largest of the region’s settlements – and it went on to encourage the commercialisation of Andiroba oil and, from 2004, Murumuru oil.

In 2003, still with the support of UFAM, the Agroextractivist Development and Energy Co-operative of Middle Juruá (CODAEMJ) was founded, and began to acquire the region’s communities Andiroba and Murumuru seed production to extract oil.[:]