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Brazil: on the nut trail


When the rainy season in December or January is over,,the paths through the Brazilian rainforest are once again passable. Now is the time for the men of the Tenharim and Diahoi indigenous tribes to go off on foot to collect the Brazil nuts. These nuts do not grow on large plantations but on trees that grow wild somewhere in the jungle. Each family has its own ancestral trees but the way to the trees is often quite long.

The trees drop capsules the size of handballs, each containing as many as 30 seeds, from the more than 40-meter high trees as early as October or November. Transporting the seeds, better known as Brazil nuts, with backpacks or by boat is a difficult endeavour. Yet it is more the process of drying and storing the nuts that creates the biggest problem for the people

With the support of the Hand in Hand- Fund, the working group known as Regenwald und Artenschutz (ARA e.V.) has been able to significantly improve the situation for the Diahoi and Tenharim. The tribes now own motor brush cutters to clear the paths to the trees. With the help of a new motor boat, they can now more easily get to the hard to reach spots along the river. The families were also able to build a new storage and drying facility which has improved the quality of the nuts and increased the incomes of the families.

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