Portal Seeds – Phase II
Ouro Verde Institute (IOV)
Support the recovery of degraded areas and the strengthening of family farming in the region of Portal da Amazônia, in the state of Mato Grosso, through the implementation and consolidation of agroforestry systems (AFSs), with planting and enrichment of agroforestry, structuring of channels for marketing products and seeds and conducting research
Family farmers in the state of Mato Grosso
Eight municipalities in the region known as Portal da Amazônia, in the far north of Mato Grosso: Apiacás, Alta Floresta, Carlinda, Colíder, Nova Canaã do Norte, Nova Guarita, Nova Santa Helena, Terra Nova do Norte
Instituto Ouro Verde (IOV) is a civil society organization, headquartered in the municipality of Alta Floresta, in the state of Mato Grosso. In the period from 2010 to 2014, a first IOV project was implemented, with the support of the Amazon Fund, in Portal da Amazônia region, in the state of Mato Grosso. Its actions promoted the restoration of deforested areas through agroforestry systems (AFSs) and the revaluation of family farming in six municipalities in northern Mato Grosso.
Agroforestry systems (AFSs) integrate the simultaneous cultivation of agricultural crops and forest species, and during the course of the first project the perception that AFSs represent a sustainable productive alternative for family farmers in the region matured.
The second project implemented by the IOV, dealt with in this report, promoted the planting of new AFSs in deforested areas and the insertion of species of economic interest in part of the areas already recovered in the previous project.
The development of marketing channels for agroforestry products was also stimulated, supporting the consolidation of the network of native seed collectors and the generation of knowledge about agroforestry economics.
The project is part of the "Sustainable Production" (1) and "Science, Innovation and Economic Instruments" (4) components of the Amazon Fund Logical Framework.
Its direct effects were defined as follows: (i) expanded managerial and technical capacities for the implementation of AFSs and processing of agroforestry products and seeds, (ii) deforested and degraded areas recovered and used for economic purposes through AFSs; (iii) seed chains and agroforestry products with expanded added value and (iv) knowledge and technologies aimed at AFSs and forest seeds produced and disseminated .
Through actions aimed at reforestation, the economic valorization of the standing forest and the research and dissemination of new knowledge on agroforestry systems, the project contributed to the general objective of the Amazon Fund to “reduce deforestation with sustainable development in Legal Amazonia”.
Click on the following image to view its objectives tree, that is, how the project's outputs and linked to the expected outcomes and impact.
|Date of approval||10.01.2013|
|Date of contract||12.05.2013|
|Date of conclusion||09.16.2022||Disbursement period||71 months (from the date the contract was signed)|
|9º disbursements||12.19.2018||R$2,643,396.45||Total amount disbursed||R$16,086,000.00|
Total amount disbursed in relation to the Amazon Fund’s support
1,550 hectares of degraded areas were recovered by planting agroforestry systems and enriched 400 ha of plantations already carried out in the previous project with the insertion of species of economic interest. The activities of planting new AFSs and enriching pre-existing AFSs were implemented in 777 rural properties.
This action required the preparation of individual projects of each AFS through technical support provided by the project. The planting was carried out by the farmers with inputs provided by the project, such as wire and chips for isolation of the areas, as well as seeds collected within the scope of the project itself. Crosswise, the project promoted training and provided technical assistance during the preparation and planting stages of agroforestry.
In order to consolidate the collection network created in the first project, community seed houses were built and renovated, which are the physical structures for seed storage and processing, totaling thirteen spaces in eight municipalities. Seed collection activities involved 120 collectors, 46% of whom were women.
The registration of seed collectors in the National Registry of Seeds and Seedlings – Renasem was supported, aiming to qualify them before the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply to exercise the activity of seed collectors and producers. Technical assistance was also provided for the collection activity, species identification, cleaning procedures and seed storage.
Aiming at strengthening the marketing channels of agroforestry products and the development of the forest seed market, municipal fairs were implemented for the sale of products from the AFSs, farmers' access to the government procurement market - the Food Acquisition Program (PAA) and the National School Feeding Program (PNAE) - was expanded and the articulation and access to markets of the collector groups was supported through Portal da Amazônia Seed Network, which even instrumentalized the sale of seeds through its website¹.
On the training side, courses and workshops were held, among others, for planting AFSs, harvesting practices and management of forest seeds, legalization and certification of seeds, silvopastoral systems, production of dehydrated fruits and handicrafts with fibers, in addition to regional exchanges.
A network of communicators was created aiming at the circulation of information among the groups involved, including the dissemination of 23 issues of the newspaper “Muvucando”, with a circulation of approximately 1,500 copies per edition. These communicators are young people who were responsible in their communities for building communication materials, such as videos and journalistic articles.
In the theme of knowledge generation on agroforestry economics, the project supported the creation in 2014 of the Center for Research in Agroforestry, coordinated by the IOV as a multi-institutional space focused on the systematization and production of knowledge for the strengthening of agroforestry value chains in the North of Mato Grosso.
The support was given through the hiring of researchers and the funding of research, in addition to improvements in infrastructure. The topics addressed by the researchers covered, among others, the monitoring of areas of planting of AFSs with direct sowing of forest seeds, laboratory tests of germination of forest seeds, tests with tree species as a forage option for cattle, in addition to germination tests carried out in the nursery of the Research Center.
These activities resulted in the production of technical and scientific works related to AFSs, including the publication by the University of the State of Mato Grosso – UNEMAT, a partner of the Center for Research in Agroforestry, of a book entitled “On the Trail of Change: Science and Resilience of Family Farming in the Northern Amazon of Mato Grosso"².
RESULT AND IMPACT INDICATORS
The project activities contributed to the results related to the “Sustainable Production” (2) and “Science, Innovation and Economic Instruments” component (4) of the Amazon Fund Logical Framework.
Below are the results of some of the indicators agreed to monitor the expected direct effects.
- Number of individuals trained to practice sustainable economic activities (outcome indicator)
Target: 424 | Result achieved: 2,352
- Area recovered through AFSs used for economic purposes (outcome indicator)
Target: 1,550 ha | Result achieved: 1,550 ha
- Area of AFSs enriched with productive species (outcome indicator)
Target: 400 ha | Result achieved: 400 ha
- Number of seed houses built (output indicator)
Target: 7 | Result achieved: 5
- Number of seed houses remodeled (output indicator)
Target: 14 | Result achieved: 13
- Number of young people trained in social mobilization for participatory management of agroforestry projects (outcome indicator)
Target: 70 | Result achieved: 71
- Revenue obtained from the marketing of agroforestry products (outcome indicator)
Goal: not defined | Result achieved: R$6.9 million
Over the approximately six years of execution of the project, R$6.9 million were obtained in revenue from marketed products, with approximately half coming from sales in the local and regional markets and the rest from government purchases (PAA and PNAE).
- Number of surveys conducted on seed collection, processing and storage and on agroforestry monitoring (output indicator)
Target: 10 | Result achieved: 64
The measurements of the agreed indicators show that practically all expected values were reached or exceeded. Regarding the areas recovered and enriched through AFSs, which individually are relatively small, as a whole (about two thousand hectares) have a relevant impact on improving the environmental quality of the region, increasing the connectivity of forest fragments and, mainly, protecting springs and watercourses.
Institutional and administrative aspects
Management councils were created in the supported communities, as well as a general project council, involving both IOV technicians and farmers. The project periodically promoted meetings of the councils, as well as meetings of the technical team and regional meetings for integration and articulation between the communities of the eight municipalities covered by the project.
In this dimension, the work carried out in promoting the involvement of young people and women with the project is worth mentioning, with women representing 47% of the total direct beneficiaries of the project (3,905 of 8,246).
In the technical dimension, a partnership was established with Herbário da Amazônia Meridional no Campus Universitário de Alta Floresta (UNEMAT), instrumental for the identification of native species and the consolidation of the Seed Network of the Portal of the Amazon.
In the context of the activities of the Agroforestry Research Center, partnerships were established with several institutions, among which the Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ) and UNEMAT stand out.
Risks and lessons learned
An important factor for the successful implementation of the project was the involvement of family farmers in all its stages, including its conception, that is, the project was subject to collective planning.
Among the various challenges and obstacles encountered can be mentioned the advancement of soybean and corn farming in the region covered by the project and the aerial spraying of agricultural pesticides that harmed some areas with AFSs implemented by the project.
In the project execution process, it was observed that the most successful areas were in more engaged communities, with active groups, which reinforced the importance of local councils, seed houses and marketing groups, among others. As a result of this finding, the project, after its initial phase, focused on communities with the pre-existence of a social web or interest in its formation.
The silvopastoral systems, which integrate crop-livestock-forest (ICLF), consisting of the combination of trees, pastures and cattle in the same area and at the same time¹, have entered as a new way of thinking about agroforestry, in addition to serving as a motivator for the approach of more farmers, since livestock is highlighted in the territory as the main income-generating activity for family farming. It is believed that this is an area that has the potential to generate future developments with regard to the continuity of the planting of these systems throughout the region.
Originally, the Amazon Fund's support for the implementation of the AFSs was conditional on all properties or assets benefited being registered in the Rural Environmental Registry – CAR until the end of the project (except for the agrarian reform settlements). However, throughout the implementation of the project, this condition was identified as excessive difficulty, since it was restricting the adhesion of farmers to the project, and, therefore, this requirement was changed, becoming registration in the car of at least 50% of the rural properties benefited and no longer their totality.
Sustainability of results
The aspects worked by the project directly affect the dynamics of deforestation by seeking to bring into the production logic the incorporation of trees and forests. His actions supported the generation of work and income in various activities and the fight against food insecurity, in addition to recovering degraded areas and changing the landscape.
The emphasis given to the project to the integration of young people and their training in various topics, including their training in participatory management of agroforestry projects, is an important legacy that will unfold in results and impacts beyond the period of its implementation.
Finally, the project, in addition to fulfilling its direct goals, brought self-esteem to family farming, valuing the family and local culture. Considering the nature of the actions supported, aimed at sustainable production and income generation for local populations, it is believed that this characteristic contributes so that the results achieved can be sustained over time and even expand.
¹ Source: Embrapa
In this area we offer some PDF files with the main publications generated by the project. Click the filename to start the download.