Income Generation of Non-wood Forest Products in an Innovative Integrated Crop-Livestock-Forestry System

  •  Marcos M. Toledo    
  •  Diego P. Santos    
  •  José M. F. Frazão    
  •  Fábio A. Figueiredo    
  •  Joaquim B. Costa    


The wide extension area occupied by babassu palm (Atallea speciosa Mart. Ex Spreng) is usually considered as an important obstacle for agricultural activities, such as crop production and pasture maintenance in Brazil. This study aimed to evaluate the non-wood forest product use and income generated in an Integrated Crop-Livestock-Forestry (ICLF) system using babassu palm as the main forestry component in a rural area of Pindaré-Mirim, a municipality of Maranhão state, in the Amazon Eastern Region, Brazil. In order to rise a well-balanced agroforestry system in numerous rural areas of the country, three main questions were addressed in this study: 1) What is the production of babassu fruits in the system? 2) Is the babassu extractivism income economically suitable for traditional communities of women babassu breakers? 3) Which commercialization scenario of NWFP could generate more income? Data on phenology and fruit production, processing of all fruit components, and commercialization of babassu products were collected in two 12-month seasons of palm production (2017/2018 and 2018/2019). The mean fruit production reached 2,345.49 kg ha-1 season-1, resulting in an estimate of income generation ranging from R$ 8,206.96 ha-1 season-1 to R$ 36,628.54 ha-1 season-1, depending on the commercialization scenario. These numbers were compared to the statewide monthly income per household of R$ 605.00 and to the per capita monthly income of 54% of the municipality of less than R$ 499.00. The real field data and the estimates for two seasons of using babassu palm, as the innovative forestry component in ICLF system, demonstrated that babassu NWFP could generate substantial income for the surrounding user communities. Such innovative agricultural system may contribute to change people understanding, diversifying agrarian production, improving the socioeconomic household welfare, and reducing the long-term conflicts between livestock activities and babassu palm existence in Brazil.

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