Antônio da Silva, age 28, grows heart of palm on his property located in the community of Mina Nova, in Igrapiúna, Bahia. He currently produces 2,000 stalks per month, guaranteeing him income of R$ 1.400 (approximately US$560.00). The four-acre area where Silva harvests his crops was granted to him through a rural partnership, one that was legally transferred through the Land Statute, a law that entered into its 50th year in November 2014 and regulates the rights and obligations associated with rural goods and property and establishes measures designed to boost agricultural productivity. “The Statute’s goals are focused on agricultural development, establishing a ‘win-win’ relationship based on fairness, and consolidated by an increase in productivity,” clarified Joaquim Cardoso, Chair of the Land Conservation Organization (OCT) Governing Board.
OCT is associated with the Bahia Southern Lowlands Environmental Protection Area Mosaic Program for Development and Growth Integrated with Sustainability (PDCIS), supported by the Odebrecht Foundation with the support of public and private partners. All of Silva’s production is transported through the Bahia Southern Lowlands Heart of Palm Producers’ Cooperative (COOPALM). The institution, which is also part of PDCIS, offers technical and financial orientation to the family farmers who grow heart of palm.
According to Cardoso, PDCIS helped optimize the Land Statute, and over its 50-year history, the tool has guaranteed the generation of jobs and income in the field. “The farmer participates in the entire cycle,” said Cardoso. “Accordingly, the rural partnership serves as a mechanism for economic and regional development that offers access to the land and promotes social and production inclusion.”