In 2012, Idesam began to work with local communities in the municipality of Apuí, in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. Through technical assistance, 28 producers have adopted agroforestry practices. Agroforestry is a dynamic natural resource management system that, through the integration of trees and agricultural production, diversifies and sustains production for increased social, economic and environmental benefits.
Agroforestry takes work, and local producers received expert advice and material inputs to recover a single hectare in their coffee plantations, as a pilot. They analyzed soils, learned how to apply biofertilizers and how to build home-made traps for the major pests. Their areas also received 10 thousand seedlings of native trees to improve forest cover. Since 2012, productivity in Apuí has risen from nine to twenty-two sacks of coffee beans per hectare, and has maintained forest cover in 28 hectares. The coffee plants love the shade and protection provided by native forest – not to mention the humidity and nitrogen in the soil.
The Apuí Coffee benefits not only the Planet, but also promotes prosperity in the region. It promotes economic security as it diversifies income sources for the involved families and increases income levels. Considering the income from coffee production alone, producers involved in the Apuí Coffee project saw their income rise in about 220% since the start of the project, when compared to other coffee producers in the region.
In 2015, the communities launched the “Apuí Agroforestry Coffee”, the very first ecologically-produced coffee in the Brazilian Amazon. The new brand and product have been a success: in its first year, it sold 4.5 tons of coffee, or 18 thousand packages. Idesam’s team activated over 20 sales’ points and presented it in about 50 events and markets.