This is the Furtado family, a traditional family of small producers from Timburi. They are the 4th generation of farmers who manage their land, produce shade-grown coffee and work as artisans. They process their coffee beans on site, generating a high quality ground coffee as a final product. The Furtados already have a small piece of their property dedicated to the practice of agroforestry, where they have introduced a wide variety of species of fruits and other plants, bringing biodiversity to their landscape.
In addition, they practice aquaculture and invite others to visit their property to fish. At the end of the day, people pay for the amount of fish they catch, generating additional income for the family. The Furtados have a beautiful relationship with their land and their livelihood is exclusively based on it. Now Mr. Furtado is willing to transition a considerable part of his coffee plantation to agroforestry systems, transforming his land into a rich and diverse ecosystem.
Ivo has owned his property for about thirty years and he can only live with what he harvests there, literally “living off the land”, going to the city market just to buy salt from time to time. Fruits, vegetables, beans, grains and meat (chicken, pigs and cows), literally everything that guarantees their survival, comes from their farm and was planted, cultivated and harvested by themselves in their agroforestry system. When Ivo first arrived on this land, it was totally degraded. Ivo planted every inch of his land with his bare hands. His property is a small property with a maximum of 4 hectares and he never uses chemical inputs, herbicides or fertilizers. It is superior to organic and very nutritious. Together, let's help Mr. Ivo to recover even more its spring waters and forest!
THE ORIGINAL KARUGWA PEOPLE
Traditional knowledge is essential to face the challenges of the present and to build a possible and brighter future. Looking back to moving forward, understanding how forest peoples work in harmony with nature is key to building a regenerative future with plentiful and nutritious food for all, social inclusion and climate mitigation. Enthusiastic about these principles, PRETATERRA applies tools for acquiring local scientific knowledge to understand and multiply the wisdom of native populations.
Although we work with local communities and traditional peoples around the world, we feel honored every time we have the opportunity to work with our indigenous peoples, the first inhabitants of this vast land of Brazil. Many people do not know, but there are still indigenous people scattered throughout the state of São Paulo. PRETATERRA chose the Karugwá community, in the municipality of Barão de Antonina, SP, to implement part of the 100 hectares of agroforestry systems of its “Agroforestry for the Atlantic Forest” project supported by the Swiss Bank Foundation UBS. In this first phase, up to 5 hectares will be planted in the indigenous village and the goal is to expand throughout its territory in the next stages of the project.
In the Karugwá village, a group of the Guarani ethnic group, about 30 families and 150 people live on 58 bushels of land, or 140 hectares. When they arrived there, with their few belongings, the land was arid, deforested, with degraded pastures and low productivity. The original group broke up from its mother village located in Avaí, SP, in 2005, when they arrived at this conservation unit demarcated by the National Foundation for the Indian (FUNAI), in Barão de Antonina, SP, on the border with the state of Paraná. Originally, there were 12 pioneer families. When they arrived, the tribe faced a lot of discrimination from their neighbors and the municipality. After a long effort to align and build friendships, they now have strong support from the local city hall.
The descendants of the oldest members of the tribe were indigenous people who joined the separatist troops during the 1932 Revolution. The southwest of the state of São Paulo was a refuge where many indigenous people remained until the beginning of the 20th century, when territorial and agricultural expansion took place. more intense and these peoples were expelled and exterminated. The Karugwá tribe is home to the descendants of these indigenous peoples who fought for their land and culture and managed to remain in the territory for more than 4 centuries of colonization. Only one of the oldest members of the tribe, Mr. Valdeci, knows how to speak the native language of his people. Now, he teaches his comrades and the next generations to keep his culture alive.
In the tribe, the idea of agroforestry is already widespread. Many work with subsistence agroforestry backyards, with the support of an agronomist from FUNAI for technical assistance. Much of the territory, especially in the steeper areas or on the edge of water bodies, was protected and enriched with native species, and the forest, once again, interspersed the landscape. Today, more than 30% of the area has returned to forest status and they want more. The Karugwá are eager to carry out a productive restoration with us, using native fruit species in the restoration of riparian forests.
Today, members of the Karugwá tribe live off agricultural production, still incipient, handicrafts and tourism. Some members of the tribe are teachers and municipal health workers. Others also work outside the village, but in local factories. Older members receive government retirement benefits.
Young Karugwá are very active in the community, developing activities to rescue their culture. Sandro joined the FUNAI agronomist who supports them in the recovery of the springs of their lands. Nathan learned from his father the craftsmanship of his people using forest materials such as fibers from palm trees or vines, lizard and alligator leather, bird feathers, seeds and dried fruit peels to make everything from bracelets, necklaces and headdresses for events. cultural activities and mobilizations of indigenous groups, slings, bows and arrows for hunting and protection. He learned indigenous art from his father Valdeir, whose name, in his original language, Guarani, is Tupã kutsuwidju, which means 'Guardian of Time'.
“It is very exciting to be invited to practice archery by a true warrior like Nathan and to be presented with a bracelet worthy of a warrior”, says Valter Ziantoni, founder of PRETATERRA when referring to moments of integration with the community.
“In conversations with the elders, when we understand the species they use and the agricultural practices they adopt, it becomes clear that bringing agroforestry systems is actually a rescue of the ancestral culture of this people”, marvels Paula Costa, founder of PRETATERRA.
Their self-sufficient way of life is based on subsistence agriculture, with the production of cassava, corn, beans, bananas and various fruits, in addition to raising chickens, fish, pigs, dairy and beef cattle. To market, they grow passion fruit, mango, papaya, avocado and strawberry, products that they sell to the region's fruit pulp agribusiness.
PRETATERRA's job is to look at the first inhabitants of Brazil and help them recover their knowledge of ancestral and resilient agriculture from the perspective of innovative and integrative agroforestry systems. This helps us to strengthen the most intrinsic social and historical ties, those that truly unite people at their core. Agroforestry is shown here as a tool for resilience, union, perseverance and belonging to an environmentally sustainable and socially integrated agriculture, capable of facing the greatest challenges of our time.