From the Amazon to the World: A Story of Brazil nuts


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Every Brazil nut you eat comes from the Amazon rainforest.

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From the Amazon to the World: A Story of Brazil nuts

  1. 1. Every Brazil nut you eat comes from the Amazon rainforest.
  2. 2. They grow on giant trees across the Amazon – but are especially abundant inBrazil, Bolivia and Peru.
  3. 3. In Peru, the government formalised traditional Brazil nut harvesting areasunder a system of concessions, where each family has the right to collect nutsin a particular patch of forest.
  4. 4. Felicitas Ramirez Surco owns a concession of 242 hectares, with 168producing Brazil nut trees.
  5. 5. She’s nearly 60, so she’s hired Serapio Condores Daza to harvest the nuts forher.
  6. 6. Every year from January to April – the wet season – the huge Brazil nut fruitsfall from the trees. Señor Serapio gathers them into piles.
  7. 7. At a safe distance from the tree (so the fruits don’t fall on his head) he uses amachete to split the hard case open…
  8. 8. …to extract the 10 to 20 nuts inside.
  9. 9. This year, scientists from the Centre for International Forestry Research areworking alongside Señor Serapio in Señora Felicitas’ concession.
  10. 10. They’re counting every fruit, and once those have been cracked open,weighing every sack of nuts, to record how much each tree produces.
  11. 11. The scientists are hoping to discover what impact selective timber logging inthe concessions has on Brazil nut production…
  12. 12. Among other factors, theyre looking at logging impacts on the forest structure - like gaps orskid trails - and how these in turn affect the amount of nuts nearby Brazil nut trees produce.
  13. 13. Señora Felicitas hopes for 100 sacks this year – equalling around 2000kilograms of shelled nuts.
  14. 14. Señor Serapio seals each sack with leaves…
  15. 15. …then carries them out of the forest to a waiting motorbike.
  16. 16. Each weighs between 60 and 80 kilograms.
  17. 17. They’re taken by motorbike to the nearest village…
  18. 18. …where the shells are removed…
  19. 19. …using a special machine.
  20. 20. Then they’re dried, packaged, and exported to the world.
  21. 21. For more information about logging and Brazil nuts in the Amazon, click:BLOG STORIES:• Harvesting both timber and Brazil nuts in Peru’s Amazon forests: can they coexist?• Learning experience: Young Peruvian foresters contribute to Brazil nut research• Snakes, thieves and falling nuts: Challenges of Brazil nut harvesting in PeruPAPERS:• Compatibility of timber and non-timber forest product management in naturaltropical forests• Multiple use management of tropical production forests: How can we move fromconcept to reality?• Evaluating the opportunities and limitations to multiple use of Brazil nuts andtimber in Western Amazonia• Multiple use forestry planning: Timber and Brazil nut management in thecommunity forests of Northern Bolivia
  22. 22. This work forms part of the CGIAR ResearchProgram on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry andwas supported by USAID.