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Productive Sociobiodiversity in the Xingu

Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA)

Project official website
Total project value
R$ 8,915,396.00
Total support amount
US$ 3,421,832.91



Support the structuring and strengthening of the value chains of sociobiodiversity in the Xingu Basin, comprising seeds and forest seedlings, rubber, nuts, pequi and fruits with indigenous populations, extractors and family farmers, aiming at increasing the quality of life of these populations and at sustainable, agroforestry and extractive production


Indigenous peoples, small farmers and extractive communities

Territorial scope

The basin of the Xingu River with activities in three sub-regions: (i) Xingu Indigenous Park (PIX); (ii) Headstreams of the Xingu/ BR-158; and (iii) Terra do Meio; comprising 11 municipalities in the state of Mato Grosso and two municipalities in the state of Pará


Project selected in the first Amazon Fund’s direct public call-to-submission of sustainable production projects.


The Xingu River basin is a territory very representative of the socioenvironmental and cultural diversity of the Brazilian Amazon. Among the traditional peoples, there are 26 indigenous peoples whose territories add up to 39% of the basin, which, together with the Terra do Meio PAs, make up one of the largest mosaics of protected areas of the Amazon, covering 28 million hectares (ha), about 60% of the total Xingu river basin. PAs play a key role¹ in containing deforestation in the Amazon region, in addition to promoting the maintenance of environmental services, such as supplying the hydrological cycle, protecting biodiversity and maintaining carbon stocks.

Seeking to strengthen this environmental function performed by PAs and promote the quality of life of their populations, several initiatives aimed at the sustainable production of nontimber forest products from extraction and agroforestry practice have been undertaken, associated with a growing demand from domestic and foreign markets on the origin of products.

Although growing in recent years, and of significant importance to traditional communities, the products of sociobiodiversity occupy little space in the formal economy. Distance from major markets, limited access to capital and information, poor infrastructure and shortage of qualified personnel are some of the challenges. Improvements are also needed in the technologies of planting, management, processing, storage, quality control and regarding regulatory and legal aspects, in addition to the social factors related to community production, such as social organization and administrative management.

¹ SOARES-FILHO, B. et al. Role of Brazilian Amazon protected areas in climate change mitigation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, [s.l.], n. 107, v. 24, June 15, 2010. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0913048107.


The Productive Sociobiodiversity project in the Xingu proposed by the Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA) was selected through the public call for Sustainable Productive Projects of the Amazon Fund, carried out by BNDES in 2012. This call followed the agglutinating model in which a unifying institution coordinates an integrated arrangement of subprojects from other organizations, called agglutinates. This project involved 12 agglutinates, of which eight community associations (indigenous, extractive and rural) and four NGOs from the socioenvironmental area.

The main objective was the development of agroextractive institutional and productive arrangements around the value chains of seeds and forest seedlings, rubber, Brazil nuts, pequi and tropical fruits. These expanded arrangements allow the construction of more robust solutions aiming to combine economic production and environmental conservation. The project also aimed to increase the income and quality of life of traditional populations and family farmers, through sustainable agroforestry and extractive production.


The project is part of the “sustainable production” component (1) of the Amazon Fund Logical Framework.

The direct effects expected by the project in the Xingu River basin are: (i) the strengthening of activities for the sustainable use of forest and its biodiversity; (ii) the addition of value in the chains of agroforestry products; (iii) the expansion of the managerial and technical capacities in the implementation of agroforestry systems, in the agroextractive production and in the processing of agroforestry products; and (iv) the recovery of deforested and degraded areas and their use for economic and environmental conservation purposes.

The project sought to create conditions so economic activities that keep the forest standing gain more value, viability and attractiveness in the Xingu River basin and, thus, contribute so the populations living in forests and rural areas of this region continue to fulfill their role in the conservation and recovery of forests.

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 12.03.2013
Date of the contract 02.20.2014
Date of conclusion 03.30.2019
Disbursement period 36 months (from the date the contract was signed)


date amount
1º disbursements 04.28.2014 R$1,824,765.23
2º disbursements 02.20.2015 R$1,492,513.93
3º disbursements 12.18.2015 R$1,970,892.77
4º disbursements 09.13.2016 R$2,735,684.07
Total amount disbursed R$8,023,856.00

Total amount disbursed in relation to the Amazon Fund’s support



The project was carried out in three sub-regions with distinct socioenvironmental characteristics, namely: (i) Xingu Indigenous Park (PIX) sub-region; (ii) Xingu headstreams and BR-158 sub-region; and (iii) Terra do Meio sub-region¹. The following actions were carried out throughout the project:

  • Structuring of the forest seed production chain in the PIX: production chain strengthened with the participation of 150 indigenous persons, with four seed houses built and a publication on the subject organized.
  • Recovery of degraded pasture through the pequi consortium; pastures and fruits; and organization of the production and commercialization of pequi oil in the PIX: recovery of 60 ha of degraded pasture and production and commercialization of pequi oil, with acquisition of agricultural equipment such as tractor, plowing grid and distributor of seeds and agricultural fertilizers.
  • Structuring and strengthening of agroforestry production, seeds and seedlings of the Xavante people: a water collection system, a seed house and a seedling nursery were built.
  • Support for the production, storage and commercialization of frozen fruit pulp in São Félix do Araguaia (MT), with the restructuring of the fruit pulp plant, renovation and acquisition of equipment, and acquisition of a vehicle to provide
    ongoing support to settled families. For commercialization, 14 freezers were purchased and sale support materials were produced.
  • Structuring of the forest seed production chain in São Félix do Araguaia (MT): the house of seeds of São Félix do Araguaia was built, with the acquisition of equipment and inputs, in addition to adaptations in the processing room.
  • Structuring of the forest seed production chain and production of seedlings for the planting of agroforestry systems in Porto Alegre do Norte (MT) and Canabrava do Norte (MT) through: (i) improvements in the seed house and adaptation of the seedling nursery structure; and (ii) training and integrative events with seed collectors.
  • Production, storage and commercialization of frozen fruit pulps in the Brasil Novo settlement in Querência (MT): the pulp plant was renovated and a seedling nursery was built, which allowed the production of about 3,000 seedlings/year, which were planted in the plots of farmers in the Brasil Novo settlement.

The following actions were carried out jointly in the Terra do Meio sub-region, according to a territorial strategy shared by the extractive associations – Sementes da Floresta Agroforestry Association (Aasflor), Association of Extractive Residents of
the Iriri-Maribel River (Aerim), Association of Residents of the Xingu Resex (Amomex), Association of Residents of the Anfrísio River Resex (Amora) and Association of Residents of the Rio Iriri Resex (Amoreri), which involved the structuring of miniplants
and canteens with the corresponding working capital system, managed by the communities, in addition to the promotion of commercial partnerships for the sale of the production.

  • Three miniplants were built in the communities of Praia Grande (Amora), Baliza (Amomex) and São Lucas (Amoreri), and the necessary pieces of equipment for their operation were acquired. Several training processes were carried out, which enabled the community to start the production of Brazil nuts, babassu mesocarp flour and vegetable oils.
  • Twenty canteens were set up with the corresponding working capital system n the three extractive reserves in the region, which sold nine products. This system allowed freedom of choice as to the activities to be carried out by the
    communities, providing income generation options throughout the year.
  • The process of structuring the Origens Brasil seal increased the possibilities of negotiation for the communities of the region. Partnerships were initiated or strengthened with several companies for the commercialization of copaíba oil,
    latex, Brazil nuts, babassu mesocarp and handicrafts.

Among the transversal actions of the project, the following stand out:

  • The consolidation of the Xingu Seed Network in the states of Mato Grosso and Pará, working in 17 municipalities in the Xingu/Araguaia region with six hundred associated collectors, including indigenous persons and family farmers.
  • The implementation of a pilot project for certification of origin in the Xingu Basin, with structuring of the Origens Brasil initiative². The Origens Brasil seal aims to generate transparency and awareness about the origin of production,
    shedding light on the value of the history of individuals, territories and responsible connections between those who produce and those who buy. This type of seal generates added value for certified products.
  • The establishment of partnership with the State University of Mato Grosso (Unemat), Nova Xavantina campus, in setting up a laboratory for analysis of native seeds, which resulted in improved quality of seeds collected and marketed.
  • The improvement of technical aspects in the production and commercialization of forest seeds in the Xingu, through annual meetings of the Seed Network, exchange events, expeditions and workshops of specialist collectors, as well as
    the preparation of graphic materials, books and booklets targeted at collectors of the network, in addition to providing guidance for collectors of other networks of native seeds.
  • The establishment of new commercial partnerships and the preparation of a guide with criteria for negotiation between traditional populations and businesses, with the creation of a database to better organize and prospect new business contacts, with information about the potential market and available production of extractive communities. During the project, meetings and conversations were held with companies with potential for partnership, highlighting the commercial partnership established with a large company that produces bread and food in general, which started to acquire Brazil nuts from the Terra do Meio extractive reserves and put the “Origens Brasil” seal in the breads that it produces with this input.
¹ Terra do Meio is a mosaic of protected areas, located right in the center of the state of Pará, formed by the extractive reserves (Resex) of the Iriri River and Anfrísio River, the Triunfo do Xingu environmental protection area (APA), the Terra do Meio ecological station (Esec), the Médio Xingu Resex, the Serra do Pardo National Park (Parna), and the TIs Cachoeira Seca , Xypaia, and Curuaia, covering an area of 8.48 million ha.

Final Evaluation

Result and impact indicators

The project activities contributed to the results related to the “sustainable production” component (1) of the Amazon Fund Logical Framework.

Direct effect 1.1: activities of sustainable use of forest and biodiversity strengthened in the Xingu River Basin.

Direct effect 1.2: agroforestry product chains with increased added value in the Xingu River Basin.

The main indicators agreed for the monitoring of this objective were:

  • Annual revenue from sustainable use economic activity – in natura products (R$) (outcome indicator)
    Goal: not set | Result achieved: R$ 483,000/year

  • Annual revenue from sustainable use economic activity – processed products (R$) (outcome indicator)
    Goal: not set | Result achieved: R$ 189,000/year

Analysis of the evolution of these indicators throughout the project implementation showed an increase of 53% in the revenue from all products sold, and the revenue from processed products more than quadrupled when comparing the baseline (2013 – prior to project actions) with the last year measured (2017). With the project support, there was a revenue increase of R$ 682,000, and this increase is calculated by comparing annual revenue in a given year with the baseline revenue. This annual increase is added over the years of project execution and, when consolidated, represents the revenue increase resulting from the project.

  • Number of farmers who accessed the institutional markets – Food Acquisition Program (PAA), National School Feeding Program (Pnae) or the Minimum Price Guarantee Policy for Sociobiodiversity Products (PGPM-Bio) (outcome indicator)
    Goal: 30 | Result achieved: 2

This indicator did not achieve its goal, with much lower performance than desired. Nevertheless, two of the agglutinates that participated in the project (Aasflor and Ansa) entered a partnership with the National School Feeding Program (Pnae). Four other extractive associations that participated in the project were, at the end of the project, in the process of accessing the Pnae and supplying babassu flour to municipalities in the region.

  • Number of business partnerships established (outcome indicator)
    Goal: 2 | Result achieved: 6

This indicator presents the result of an innovative initiative that included the implementation of the certification of origin of the chains of sociobiodiversity products supported by the project with the prospection and establishment of new commercial partnerships that value the social and environmental services provided by traditional populations. The commercial partnerships established covered companies of perfumery, rubber products, bakery, natural products, commercialization of handicrafts and one of the largest supermarket chains (retail) of the country.

Direct effect 1.3: expanded managerial and technical capacities in the Xingu Basin for agroforestry system (AFS) implementation, agroextractive production and agroforestry product processing.

The main indicators agreed for the monitoring of this objective were:

  • Number of individuals trained in native seed management, forest management activities and agroextractive production effectively using the knowledge acquired (outcome indicator)
    Goal: 980 | Result achieved: 1,327

  • Number of families benefiting from technical assistance (output indicator)
    Goal: 480 | Result achieved: 1,642

These two indicators demonstrate good results in a central topic for the success of sustainable production initiatives in the Amazon, which are training and provision of technical assistance. They seek to determine the handling of two challenges in this topic, which are the effective use of acquired capacities and the continued provision of technical assistance to families during the project execution. These are aspects that, when met, promote the economic and environmental sustainability of these initiatives.

Direct effect 1.4: deforested and degraded areas recovered and used for economic and conservation purposes in the Xingu Basin.

The main indicators agreed for the monitoring of this objective were:

  • Area reforested with seeds and seedlings sold by the Xingu Seed Network (outcome indicator)
    Goal: 60 | Result achieved: 2,046 ha

  • Number of seedlings produced (output indicator)
    Goal: 12,000 | Result achieved: 19,200

Reforestation and seedling production activities can have productive and environmental recovery purposes and, in addition, are important for the promotion of native species seed and seedlings production chains. The initial goal of 60 ha of reforested area included only the reforestation carried out directly within the scope of the project, with the planting of pequi for the recovery of a pasture abandoned by the Kisêdjê indigenous people, which was carried out adequately. The difference in relation to the final result of 2,046 ha refers to the estimated area reforested with seeds and seedlings sold by the Xingu Seed Network under the project. More important than the final result in reforested hectares is the strengthening of the chain of production and sale of seeds, the main input for reforestation activity.

The good result in seedling production is also a reflection of the investment in expansion and improvements of nurseries, which creates an important production base for the expansion of reforestation activities in the region, either by projects like this or also by municipalities and rural owners.

Institutional and administrative aspects

The Socioenvironmental Institute carried out part of the project’s activities and also coordinated the field activities of the Productive Sociobiodiversity in the Xingu project through a set of 12 institutions, as shown in the table below. 

Partner Organizations

Main Activities



Association of Residents of
the Iriri River Resex (Amoreri)

Forest seeds, seedlings, oils, Brazil nuts and rubber Terra do Meio, Altamira (PA)


Association of Residents of the
Anfrísio River Resex (Amora)

Forest seeds, seedlings, oils, nuts and rubber

Terra do Meio, Altamira (PA)


Association of Residents of
the Xingu Resex (Amomex)

Forest seeds, seedlings, oils, nuts and rubber

Terra do Meio, Altamira (PA)


Association of Extractive Residents of the Iriri-Maribel River (Aerim)

Oils, Brazil nuts and rubber

Terra do Meio, Altamira (PA)


Sementes da Floresta Agroforestry
Association (Aasflor)

Oils, Brazil nuts and rubber

Terra do Meio, Altamira (PA)


Estrela da Paz Agroecological Community
Association (Acaep)

Forest seeds, seedlings
and fruit pulps

Xingu Headstreams/BR-158 (MT)


Terra Viva Alternative Agriculture and Environmental Education Association (ATV)

Forest seeds and seedlings

Xingu Headstreams/BR-158 (MT)


Nossa Senhora da Assunção
Education and Social Assistance Association (Ansa)

Forest seeds, seedlings and fruit pulps

Xingu Headstreams/BR-158 (MT)


Native Amazon Operation (Opan)

Forest seeds and seedlings

Xingu Headstreams/BR-158 (MT)


Kisêdjê Indigenous Association (AIK)

Forest seeds, seedlings, oils, nuts and rubber

PIX – Mato Grosso


Moygu Indigenous Association Ikpeng Community (Aimci)

Forest seeds and seedlings

PIX – Mato Grosso


Forest and Agricultural Management and Certification Institute (Imaflora)

Certification, business
partnerships and


Considering the wide territorial scope and the large number of participating institutions, the Productive Sociobiodiversity in the Xingu project involved a high demand for its administrative management and institutional coordination. As the project conducted several of its activities in PAs and TIs, there was a recurrent need to consult the agencies that manage these protected areas (Funai, ICMBio, Ibama and others), in addition to partnerships with the governments of some municipalities. As the implementing institution had already worked in partnership with the institutions in previous projects, the management of this project was benefited, because there was already a prior experience that favors the establishment of a relationship of trust. One of the challenges of the project was to seek exchange of experiences between communities with different profiles, such as indigenous people, extractors and small farmers, since, generally, socioenvironmental projects work only with one social group.

Another relevant institutional aspect in the project concerns actions conducted by one of the agglutinated institutions, the Imaflora. Because it is an institution specializing in forest certification with experience in good practices of forest management and traditional populations, its participation in the project, differently from the other agglutinates that acted more focused on field activities, had a transversal character in support for strengthening productive chains through the creation of mechanisms that value local production respecting its particularities. The scope of the pilot project for certification of origin from the Xingu region comprised all subregions of the project with greater focus on the PIX and in the Terra do Meio sub-region, where there were more developed sustainable production chains.

Risks and lessons learned

The partnerships between the institutions that were part of the project were already underway before its execution, which was positive for the shared management of a complex project with so many players, in addition to enabling the expansion of a strategy that was already underway. Advancing in the consolidation of bioeconomy product chains in isolated territories takes a time that usually exceeds the duration of a project, requires a continuous process of coordination, the establishment of partnerships and constant search for improvements in the conditions of the territories.

With the indigenous communities participating in the project, one of the challenges was the coordination of processes that were carried out separately in several localities of different ethnic groups. To address this issue, a dynamic relationship was established with representatives of each community that enabled greater communication between the parties.

In the Terra do Meio sub-region, there was an important experience with the establishment of a basket of products with clear marketing processes through the creation of community canteens, with working capital to provide liquidity and commercial partnerships that provided security in the destination of extractive production. This allowed greater freedom of choice for the community as to the activities to be prioritized, with options for generating income throughout the year and alternatives in case of low productivity of a given product.

An important bottleneck that was traced, especially to the Brazil nut chain, is the need for working capital for early purchase of the crop. At the time of the project, the volume commercialized was dependent on the working capital made available by the institutions that support the communities. This is a point that needs to be addressed and resolved to ensure the consolidation of these production chains.

Another lesson learned stems from the fact that the Xingu seed network works in several municipalities in the region, allowing that species that are having production difficulties in one locality are supplied by other localities, ensuring stability in seed delivery, since one of the planting methods for recovery of degraded areas uses the technique called “seeds muvuca”, which involves the joint direct planting of a wide variety of seeds by employing the techniques and concepts of agroecology.

Sustainability of the results

Sociobiodiversity product chains have competitive disadvantages when compared with contemporary commercial plantations and synthetic products. This fact leads to the need for innovative actions to add value to products of the forest, and the project supported initiatives such as the Origens Brasil seal, which allows to add value to social and environmental services associated with the products, as well as the development and implementation of technologies such as mini-oil plants, which adopt technological solutions compatible with the context and knowledge of the communities benefited, thus contributing to enable their economic sustainability.

It is worth mentioning that the structuring of long-term relationships in the value chains of sociobiodiversity products generate learning throughout the chain: (i) in the management and social organization of communities at the local and territorial levels through integrated territory management; and (ii) in the companies’ greater understanding about their inputs and suppliers, as they come to better understand the dynamics of the forest, of extraction and of the traditional and indigenous populations. Thus, a gain in management and responsibility is promoted throughout the chain, enabling innovative initiatives to remain competitive in relation to the various challenges to be overcome.


In this area we offer some PDF files with the main publications generated by the project. Click the filename to start the download.