Three important policy goals in Brazil are economic growth, forest conservation and poverty alleviation. Agricultural production makes a major contribution to economic growth while posing a major threat to forest conservation, while the conversion of farmland to forest necessary to protect the Atlantic Forest threatens to drive small family farmers into poverty. Development of commercially important non-timber forest products (NTFPs) can play an important role in alleviating this conflict. The Euterpe genus stands out among the Brazilian NTFP production chains, with Euterpe oleraceae in the Amazon Basin and Euterpe edulis in southern part of Atlantic Forest - one of the most endangered forests in the world. The two main products of this production chain are hearts of palm, which are removed from the interior of the stipe, and the pulp extracted from the fruits. Historically, the pulp comes from the açaí in the Amazon and hearts of palm from the juçara in the Atlantic Forest. Recently, juçara berries have been harvested for pulp and marketed as “açaí de juçara”. The conversion from extraction of hearts of palm to fruit harvesting has a remarkable effect on species conservation and forest landscape restoration because it does not exterminate individuals of Euterpe edulis , which is threatened with extinction. The goal of this article is to assess the current status of this new NTFP from E. edulis in the southern part of Atlantic Forest, State of Santa Catarina, and its potential to simultaneously promote forest conservation and economic growth. Production of juçara pulp soared from 5 tons in 2010 to 97.76 tons in 2011. With 115 fruit collectors, management in backyard agroforestry represents 80% of production, with the secondary forests providing the remainder. Two types of producers in Santa Catarina—industrial and family farmers— are distinguished by their form of processing, production scale and sales. Given this situation, it is clearly important to define strategies under public and private policies for research, development and dissemination of sustainable production models, based on the ecology of the species, landscape structure and sociocultural values.
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Trevisan, Adriana Carla Dias; Fantini, Alfredo Celso; Schmitt-Filho, Abdon Luis; and Farley, Joshua, "Market for Amazonian Açaí (Euterpe oleraceae) Stimulates Pulp Production from Atlantic Forest Juçara Berries (Euterpe edulis)" (2015). College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Publications. 195.