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Elected the food of the 21st century by the UN, cassava is transforming the reality of communities in Pará

Transformed into flour and tapioca, cassava is sold by communities in Barcarena with the support of the Ativa Barcarena and Tipitix projects

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The United Nations (UN) declared cassava the food of the 21st century. Despite having Brazilian origin, the biggest producers of the tuber are Nigeria, Thailand and Indonesia. Production in Brazil is concentrated in the states of Bahia, Pará, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul. Highly versatile, the plant is used both for feeding humans and other animals, in addition to being used in the manufacture of bioethanol. In Pará, transformed into water or tapioca flour, cassava is successful in the local cuisine. In these and other versions, cassava has been worked on by Tipitix, a project focused on community agri-food entrepreneurship and financed by the Hydro Sustainability Fund (FSH) and the Mitsui Bussan Foundation of Brazil, with the Peabiru Institute as an executing partner.

Tipitix serves around 200 family farmers, producers of cassava and its derivatives, in addition to fruits, vegetables and various other products from more than 20 rural communities in Barcarena (PA). Among these communities is Cupuaçu, where the farmer Rosa Queiroz learned from past generations how to produce manioc flour. This knowledge has been improved with the support of the Tipitix project, which offers technical assistance for the development of products, infrastructure for the improvement of production; in addition to support in design, credit and commercial advice for the insertion of products in the market. The project also offers administrative and accounting support for the procedures related to the formalization and management of the participating enterprises.

“With this support, we were able to improve the quality of our flour and we are already dreaming of expanding the sale of our product, which is now made only for the community. We produce about 4 to 5 30kg bags of flour per week. We are planning to expand and even supply our flour to the state's supermarket chain”, says Rosa Queiroz, who together with her family develops the Mandioqueiras brand.

Since the project was launched in March 2021, 448 kilos of products benefited from cassava have been produced. This production includes coarse cassava flour, tapioca flour, seasoned farofa and vacuum packed cassava. At the launch of the second cycle of the project, in November last year, the range of products was expanded with the inclusion of tucupi, brigadeiro and macaxeira cheese bread. Ten entrepreneurs were selected who, for four months, will receive support to adapt their business model, infrastructure for the improvement of production, brand and packaging development, commercial advice for market entry and all administrative and accounting support for the formalization and management of the business.

In early February, Tipitix expanded the sale of the family farming product line developed with its support, which can now be found in Belém, at Casa Natural, on the 1st floor of Shopping Boulevard.

Ativa Barcarena – Cassava cultivation is also highlighted in the strategy of technical assistance to agricultural units participating in Ativa Barcarena, Hydro's social investment project, carried out by the Peabiru Institute. In 2021, 91 farmers from 21 rural communities and the region of the islands of the municipality of Barcarena benefited from the project. The project offers rural technical assistance and workshops on agricultural techniques for local farmers.

“My mother was already working in the fields, planting manioc. From her I acquired all the knowledge to work with tucupi and also some techniques with the Ativa project, which allow me to support my family by selling the product at fairs”, says Raquel Rodrigues Mendes, participant of Ativa Barcarena and who has just been selected. to participate in the 2nd cycle of Tipitix with your product. Tucupi is the main ingredient in Pará, extracted from the juice of the grated and squeezed manioc root. Once extracted, this broth rests so that the starch separates from the liquid. The resulting liquid is tucupi.

High energy value – Cassava was already absolute long before the Portuguese settlers landed in Brazil. Because of its energy value, it provided the necessary provision for ancient indigenous peoples and also became a source of energy for many Europeans.

The North Region has the second largest planted area of ​​cassava in Brazil, with 20.97% of the total, second only to the Northeast, according to Embrapa. However, the North Region leads the production of cassava with 36.1% of the national harvest, followed by the Northeast Region with 25.1% and by the South region with 22.1%.

The State of Pará holds 60.66% of the cultivated areas in the North region and consequently accounts for 56.96% of the region's cassava production. Being the largest in planted area and the largest in cassava production in Brazil, it naturally also has the municipalities with the largest areas and productions in Brazil, namely: Acará, Santarém, Oriximiná and Óbidos.

According to data from January this year, released by the Systematic Survey of Agricultural Production (LSPA, in Portuguese) of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE, in Portuguese) and systematized by the Planning and Statistics Nucleus (Nuplan, in Portuguese) of the Agricultural and Fisheries Development Secretariat (Sedap, in Portuguese), Pará remains the largest producer of cassava in Brazil. The state has a representation of 21.95% of Brazilian production and among the states in the North region, Pará production represents approximately 61.57%. The state has a production volume of 4,060,716 tons of cassava according to LSPA projections.

Cassava benefits:

  • Improves digestion;
  • It is beneficial for cardiovascular health;
  • Helps fight arthritis;
  • It is good for those who have diabetes;
  • It helps in the practice of physical exercises;
  • Strengthens the immune system;
  • Helps improve mood;
  • It's good for the skin;
  • It is suitable for pregnant women;
  • Prevents some types of cancer;
  • Prevents anemia and helps control cholesterol;
  • It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action.

Source: Brazilian Association of Nutrition.

Why Tipix?

The name is inspired by the tipiti, an ancestral artifact originating from the indigenous peoples of the Amazon and made with palm straws. It is used to this day in the processing of cassava. The Tipitix project is a pioneer in the processing and formalization of cassava production in Barcarena, a value chain with great potential for food use in its various applications.

In Press Porter Novelli

External Press Officer

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