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Family farming work organization of agro-extractivist communities in the region of Mambaí, Goias State, Brazil

Guéneau S., Deane de Abreu Sá Diniz J., Dessartre Mendonça S., Aveline I.A., Sabourin E.. 2016. In : Complex realities and transformations in work in a diversity of farming models. Parana : s.n., 11 p.. International Symposium on Work in Agriculture, 2016-11-08/2016-11-11, Parana (Brésil).

Located in the center of Brazil, the Cerrado biome is the most diverse savanna in the world and covers about a quarter of the country area. However, since the 1960s, an ongoing agricultural expansion has led to profound transformations of the natural landscape of this biome, notably through land conversion. The remaining areas of native vegetation is a living and working place for many traditional communities and more recent rural settlements, who undertake low-impact agricultural and extractivist activities. Extractivism in the Cerrado constitutes harvesting of many Non-Timber Forest Products, especially Pequi fruits (Caryocar brasiliense). This proposal aims to study the agro-extractivism systems in Mambaí district, Goiás State, central Brazil, by describing their work organization, by analysing participation in the market, and by discussing the challenges they face. Data was gathered in socio-anthropological fieldwork through semi-structured interviews with over 40 agro-extractivists in rural settlements, visits to farms and observation of the town's weekly street market, followed by interviews with the main actors along the value chain. Results show thatfarmers have different strategies of production and combine different activities within their household. Regarding Pequi, there are many products obtained from the fruit, the commercial ones (mainly Pulp Preserves) being different from those for household consumption. Harvesting and processing the fruits is a family activity, almost always led by the women. Different products are sold through different commercial channels, including: direct sales to consumers (on orders or at the street market) or directly to local and distant industries, but mostly through intermediaries. The complexity of the relationship between the latter and the agro-extractivists is discussed. Although the income generated by these sales is important and complementary, access to markets appears as a main issue. Therefore, projects and public policy should address basic market access needs, by focusing on marketing, legislation requirements, transportation and especially entrepreneurial management.

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