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Brazil: Sharing Buriti with the rest of the world

23 February 2022

Brejo Dois Irmãos is a tiny and isolated community of 200 families in north-east Brazil. It hides a precious treasure: the burití, or “tree of life” in the indigenous Tupi-Guarani language.

The fleshy, sweet fruit from the palm trees is high in vitamin C and can be used to make tasty juices, jams and sweets, while the seeds yield an oil rich in vitamin A, which is useful in cosmetic and medicinal products.

Despite its many uses, the burití processing was labour-intensive and its products hard to market. All that changed in 2017 with the IFAD-supported semi-arid project.

With the project’s help, the community improved the way they processed the fruits and seeds. What used to take days of labour now could be done in hours. The project connected Brejo to the internet, and producers began using social media to sell their products.

The community’s income have increased by 30 to 40 per cent. Having shown how a product traditionally produced by women could benefit the entire community, the project has also fostered gender equality.

Now, people in Brejo no longer feel disconnected from the outside world.