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JBS Fund for the Amazon approves the first 6 projects to receive an investment of R$ 50 million

Incentives for production chains like cocoa, açaí, and pirarucu, as well as platforms for access to credit and business consulting could raise family incomes by up to 40% 

São Paulo, June 2, 2021 – In the week of World Environment Day, the JBS Fund for the Amazon announces the first projects chosen to receive investments to promote actions in favor of forest conservation and preservation, improvements to the quality of life of the local communities and the scientific and technological development of the region. There will be six initiatives which, together, will receive R$ 50 million from the Fund constituted by JBS in September 2020, with an infusion of R$ 250 million in five years. 

The objective of the Fund is to drive the promotion of actions for forest conservation and preservation and the sustainable development of the region.   The organization analyzed more than 50 ideas for projects, including proposals received through the site or prospected by the team. Nine initiatives were invited to submit pre-projects that were analyzed by the Technical Committee consisting of 11 members nominated by research institutes and third-sector organizations. They are outstanding professionals in the fields of the environment and sustainable development, with extensive experience of the reality in the Amazon and who have already done work with a significant impact in the region.

“The projects that will receive the resources will develop the forest bioeconomy, helping to add value to its natural products and also contributing to environmental conservation and socioeconomic  development”, says Joanita Maestri Karoleski, president of the JBS Fund for the Amazon. “One of our focal points was to support projects that recognize the value of those at the base of the forest chain, such as extractivist workers, indigenous people and other traditional communities that manage community business”, says Andrea Azevedo, the Fund’s director of programs and projects.   The largest tropical forest on the planet is home to the world’s greatest biodiversity. There are over 5 million square kilometers of forests, covering nine Brazilian states, in a biome that is home to 20 million people.

Thanks to these actions that will be developed by the projects to be supported, forest areas will be conserved, restored and preserved, directly and indirectly, by developing new sustainable businesses. Still on the environmental aspect, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by implementing new farming techniques and intensified livestock systems, while also avoiding deforestation. In addition, 30 bioeconomy startups will be accelerated, while a further 20 community enterprises will be leveraged. In all, the projects should benefit more than 14,000 families through job creation, which will result in their incomes increasing by up to 40%. Also, the participation of women and young people in community businesses should increase by 30% in the wake of these initiatives.

 

Regenerative farming practices and the wealth of the bioeconomy
The first six initiatives chosen by the JBS Fund for the Amazon will take on an extensive range of activities within the biome.   The implementation of agroforestry systems, which transform crop and livestock farming locations into areas that absorb carbon, will be implemented by adopting regenerative farming practices. The pirarucu and açaí chains will be strengthened by investments in certifying production, adding value to processing and management training for the community businesses. The bioeconomy startups will receive investments and mentoring. The freeing up of credit for small farmers will be facilitated so they can receive technical assistance and access to financing that will enable their business to prosper by increasing production without knocking down the forest. Also included is joint development with Embrapa of research and technologies to enhance the value of forest products such as açaí, cocoa, manioc, nuts, fruits and fish.

Here are further details about the projects:

  • RestaurAmazônia: developed by the NGO Solidaridad, with the support of the IPAM (The Environmental Research Institute for the Amazon), the project will have five years to set up, on 1,500 smallholdings, agroforestry systems that integrate livestock farming, agriculture and forestry. The objective is to foster good agricultural practices so that the properties remain economically viable, sustain the farmers and also help absorb carbon from the atmosphere. The project adheres to a tried, tested and approved sustainable development model, and will scale up the entire restructuring of the chain commencing with the new phase supported by the Fund. Find out more about the NGO: https://www.solidaridadsouthamerica.org/brasil/pt.
  • The Inclusive Community Economies Program in the Communities of Bailique and Beira Amazonas, in Amapá: the açaí production chain in the region will be strengthened, and in three years this should result in higher incomes for 240 local families, as well as consolidating an inclusive bioeconomy model that can be adopted in other chains. Included is the construction of a dedicated plant to produce pulp; the expansion of the higher value-added product portfolio; the drafting of a plans to lyophilize the fruit, which reduces the costs in the logistics chain; in addition to building of new schools and vocational training for young people and women to engage in the activity. The project will be jointly implemented by several entities, like the extractivist cooperative, Amazonbai (https://www.amazonbai.com.br/), Instituto Interelos (http://interelos.org.br/), OELA (https://www.oela.org.br/), IEB (http://www.ueap.edu.br/, the State University of Amapá and Instituto Terroá (https://www.institutoterroa.org/).
  • Fair and Sustainable Fishing Project: developed by the Asproc (The Carauari Rural Producers’ Association), this will strengthen the pirarucu chain through the purchase of a vessel to process the fish caught, and a feasibility study for the construction of a processing industry. Also included are training and technical consultancy for the communities, with the aim of opening new markets for the fishery associations in the middle region of the Juruá river (AM). The project will last two years, which should benefit 450 families living in 55 riverine communities, by increasing production and income. Access https://www.asproc.org.br/; for additional information about the association heading up the project.
  • AMAZ (Accelerator & Impact Investments): the first Amazon accelerator for business focused on socioenvironmental impact of forest-based businesses. Headed by Idesam (The Amazon Development Institute), AMAZ will promote the acceleration of 30 startups in five years, which will be supported by a fund with philanthropic resources and private investments, as well as training and mentoring in the businesses.   This project encourages the strengthening of this entrepreneurial ambience of the biodiversity chain, important for preserving the forest. Further information about the institution:  https://amaz.org.br/.
  • Leveraging credit for the forest chains: Instituto Conexões Sustentáveis will try out a work methodology which, over two years, will help to free up credit for smallholders in the value chains of nuts, açaí, fish, wood, oils and resins. Twenty-five local activators will be hired and trained to assist the access of smallholders to credit on easy terms and conditions. Fifteen cooperatives will also receive consultancy in order to qualify for financing on easy terms and conditions. Further details about the institute: https://www.conexsus.org/.
  • Technical partnership with Embrapa: the initiative will develop research and technologies to enhance the value of forest products, including innovations in plant-based food, raw materials and inputs made from plant nanofibers. Also included are programs for reducing emissions in the field by integrating crops, livestock farming and the forest, in addition to developing renewable technologies. https://www.embrapa.br/.

 

The JBS Fund for the Amazon
The JBS Fund for the Amazon is an association dedicated to promoting and financing initiatives and projects whose aim is the sustainable development of the Amazon Biome. The institution is open to contributions and partnerships with associations from the private sector, the third sector and multistakeholder groups. JBS has committed to make a matching contribution to each donation until R$ 500 million is reached. The target is to raise the resources of the Fund to R$ 1 billion by 2030. Any institution or company can submit projects to request financing, provided they have a current corporate taxpayer number (CNPJ) (or equivalent in the case of international companies). Registrations can be made through the site https://fundojbsamazonia.org/.