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Project in progress  |  Family farming

Cerrado Sustentável


The Cerrado biome, localized in the central region of Brazil, is the most biodiverse savanna on the planet and also one of the most threatened, with less than 2% of its extension protected by national parks and conservation units. A pillar of Brazilian agricultural production, its landscape is a mosaic of large commodity-producing properties and small rural agroextractivist communities. 


The project will be developed in the northeast of the state of Goiás, in nine municipalities (Formosa, São João D'Aliança, Flores de Goiás, Sítio D'Abadia, Alvorada do Norte, Damianópolis, Mambaí, Guarani de Goiás and São Domingos) that are in a situation of social vulnerability, with human development indices (HDI) below the state and national average. These are regions where agricultural production is the main economic activity, however, it faces several challenges to their development. 


The project will promote agroecology as an opportunity to generate income and food security. This is a production method based on the intercropping of conventional species, such as corn, beans, peanuts, chickpeas and rice, with native species already cultivated for generations among traditional communities. Together, they complement and optimize the resources available in the soil, reducing losses in productivity and ensuring food security. 

Among the native species, three were selected for having great potential for commercialization but are currently poorly managed, in addition to being part of the Cerrado's food culture, influencing family food security. They are: 

Faveira (Dimorphandra mollis): a pioneer and very resistant species, the Faveira is able to develop in harsh environmental conditions. Rich in rutin, a substance widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Baru (Dipteryx alata): rich in iron and protein, the Baru is more nutritious and cheaper than grated coconut (which ended up being replaced by baru in school meals in Goiás). 

Jatobá (Hymenaea courbaril): a resistant species rich in calcium, with different potential for use. It is a great option to replace gluten-containing flour. 

Community history

The Cerrado territory is marked by a mosaic of large production farms, with polygons measuring more than 500 hectares in length, where highly technological production activities are developed. Along this landscape, there is also another profile of farmer: the so-called agroextractivists, families that develop extractivism as an alternative to traditional agricultural culture to generate income and subsistence. 

With properties averaging 1 to 2 hectares, these families from traditional communities encounter several challenges in the growth and formalization of their work. Isolated in the mosaic of large production farms, their decentralized operations make it difficult to access the market, standardize production, qualify their workforce, and access technologies that can add value to the product and increase productivity. Thus, they end up working with the informal market, and depend on intermediaries to sell their products, who historically end up dictating the terms and pricing of the market. 

These are families that survive today from agricultural production and extractivism, some with small-scale animal husbandry for their own consumption, and an average annual income of R$6 to 20 thousand. However, despite operating in agricultural production, they are still able to optimize their use of the land's potential. Often due to lack of guidance, or even out of necessity, they end up overexploiting species to meet market demand as much as possible and have a minimum financial return. 

There are two realities that will be understood by the project: one is the families that already participate in the Solidarity Commercialization Network, but still need technical guidance, whether to improve management practices, expand the range of products processed or complete the organic certification process. The other reality is the inclusion of new families in sustainable management practices and cooperative work, increasing the network of agroextractivists working in the sustainable and organic management of the Cerrado biome. 

Impactos históricos:

2000 – Constitution of CEDAC 

2001 – Creation of the collective brand “Empório do Cerrado”, which resulted in the inclusion of baru flour in school meals. 

2003 – Implementation of the Centro Nacional de Agroecologia, in partnership with Embrapa, Agência Ambiental/GO and the MMA.  

2011 – Start of a project with the MDA to implement organic certification. 

2014 – CEDAC is accredited as a Organismo Participativo de Avaliação da Conformidade Orgânica pelo MAPA. 
2022 – Formalization of support from the Louis Dreyfus Institute for the “Cerrado Sustentável” Project. 

Full name:

Cerrado Sustentável: Promovendo o desenvolvimento comunitário de agricultores familiares através de práticas de conservação da biodiversidade regional.


24 months.



Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The project

With the aim to promote socioeconomic development based on sustainable agroextractivism in the Cerrado biome, the project will instruct family farmers and establish a socio-productive organizational structure, ensuring social inclusion and income generation combined with biodiversity conservation. 

As a result, it is expected an increase in production and income of 360 families through the promotion of productive practices that respects nature, contributing to the conservation of one of the hotspots of global biodiversity, the Cerrado, and promoting improvements in health and well-being, both for those who handle it and for those who consumes it. 


mapped communities


agroextractivists mobilized to participate in the project and engaged in the Solidarity Commercialization Network


representation of women among participants 


increase in productivity and family income in the first year


kg/family/year of production


new certification processes started


increase in soil quality


increase in the diversity of managed species


baru seedlings planted

Impacts of project

Project activities

To Improve household means of subsistence through the development of sustainable value chains of native species. 

Mobilization, organization, socio-productive planning and project impact assessment meetings will be held with representatives from all communities, promoting community participation, and also focusing on minorities such as women and young people, so that a joint process of social, environmental and economic transformation can be built.

Transition to agroecological production through the improvement of skills and practices, including organic certification

Workshops on sustainable management and pre-processing and participatory organic certification will be conducted, in addition to farmer-to-farmer exchanges on agroecology to disseminate more resilient reproduction practices, with the aim of building technical capacity. Monitoring of family management and organization of production for processing and marketing of products will also be carried out in partnership with Coopcerrado.

Conservation of Cerrado biodiversity

Technical visits will be conducted on the properties of participating families, to map potential areas for enrichment, supply and supervise the planting of baru (Dipteryx alata) seedlings in the areas, in addition to providing guidance on agroecological practices and soil analysis for implementing the rainfed technique.


Instituto Louis Dreyfus

The Instituto Louis Dreyfus is the representative of the Louis Dreyfus Foundation in Brazil, the philanthropic arm of the Louis Dreyfus Company, a company in the agricultural commodities sector. The Institute has an investment policy aimed at supporting projects that help small farmers and rural communities to become self-sufficient, contributing to food security and alleviating poverty. 


Established in 2000, with the purpose of advising rural communities in the Cerrado to overcome poverty and social injustice, by valuing the know-how of these communities in the Territory - Biome - Cerrado. The Solidarity Commercialization Network mobilized by CEDAC, whose principles come from the National Center for Agroecology, enables the development of sustainable practices in the cerrados, adding value to products aimed at food, medicines, cosmetics, among others.

Bioeconomy platform that enables projects to value Brazilian biodiversity. It has a multidisciplinary team with more than 12 years of experience in project management and corporate communication. Its work has already enabled the operation of 23 projects to enhance biodiversity and created a network of more than 500 organizations and companies active in the socio-environmental cause. 

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