Babaçu – Self-sufficiency in a nutshell
The north-east of Brazil is still being inhabited by descendants of African slaves; often they live below the poverty limit. In the back country they live in Quilombos, village communities founded in the 18th
century by slaves who were able to flee or were liberated. A project for producing Babassu nut oil in the district of Codó in Maranhao reinforces local communities, encourages self-sufficiency and values natural resources.
Staple and market product
The Quilombolas (village inhabitants) make a versatile useful natural oil from the nuts of the wild Babassu palm trees. Cracking the nuts, removing the inner layers and finally the kernel is all done by hand, traditionally by women. The oil mill, funded by cooperaxion, makes pressing the nuts easier and the Babassu oil finer. Some of the oil can be further processed into soap, bakery and other products. The home-made products are sold by the Quilombolas in the weekly markets nearby. Anything that is not sold can be used by the families in house and stable.
With the oil mill, cooperaxion creates new perspectives through work, income generation and self-determination of the Quilombolas.
Also, the Afro-Brazilians receive access to education and support with the redistribution of the land; cooperaxion also contributes to limit the rural exodus.
You will find more background information on the left (project) and under documentation.
Further information coming soon.