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Project in progress | Female empowerment


The project

The main goal of the project is to promote and train Pantanal extractive women for the sustainable management of cumbaru (Dipteryx alata) by ensuring their autonomy in the marketing of the products, contributing to the social and political organization of these women in extractive causes and for the conservation of biodiversity. 


The Pantanal represents different ecosystems, from flooded areas, to “cerradões”, “veredas”, semi-deciduous forests, among many others. However, all this natural wealth has been threatened by human action, including deforestation, fires and pollution. 

The municipalities of Poconé and Barão de Melgaço, in Mato Grosso, are in this center of natural, ethnic and cultural biodiversity, whose populations are mainly descendants of indigenous, quilombola and riverside peoples. With a strong influence from Pantanal culture and a respectful relationship with the environment, many women play significant roles in rural communities, both within the family, in economic activities such as fishing, crafts and local tourism, and in the protection of natural local culture.  

Species: Cumbaru

(Dipteryx odorata) 

Among the great diversity of species found in the Pantanal, the cumbaru plays an important role as it is a highly versatile species, widely consumed by traditional communities. 

Its fruits are popularly known for offering a sweet pulp and a nut that can be consumed naturally, although roasting is recommended. The extracted oil has food and medicinal uses in the treatment of rheumatism and can be used as a flavoring agent. 

Chestnuts are very nutritious and rich in proteins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and manganese. Furthermore, the planting of the species is recommended for the recovery of degraded areas. 

Community history

In the municipalities of Poconé and Barão Melgaço, the abundance of cumbaruzeiro has become a source of income for Pantanal families, involving quilombola women, family farmers, settlers, and women from the Pantanal primarily engaged in cumbaru collection.


However, the current situation exhibits limited autonomy and female involvement in the marketing phase of their products. Post-fruit collection for seed extraction, women cede their roles to men who handle product sales, determining prices and sales conditions. 

Presently, women sell their production (fresh seed) at R$ 0.60 per kilo, typically to cooperatives that subsequently hire their labor for seed breaking, eventually selling the final product at R$ 25.00 per pound. The issue lies in the lack of return of this added value to the women, who only receive a day's wage for assisting in seed breaking. 

The Cumbaru Project aims to address this issue by investing in enhancing the cumbaru processing into flour, cakes, and almonds. This will involve training and fostering the creation of a formal women-only association. This association will provide support to extractivist women in accessing formal markets and facilitating direct sales to companies. 

These women, comprising family farmers, settlers, and Pantanal farmers, are all extractivists. The project seeks to empower them, promoting their full and effective participation and ensuring equal opportunities for leadership at all decision-making levels in political, economic, and public spheres. 

Historical impacts:

1998: Fundação da Associação de Produtores Rurais of the Nossa Senhora de Lourdes community, in the traditional José Alves community. 

2017: The Pantanal suffered the biggest drought in the last 47 years, which significantly affected the region's fauna and flora, in addition to economic activities that depend on natural resources. 

2018: The Pantanal suffered one of the largest waves of fires ever recorded, which consumed a large part of the native vegetation, in addition to causing damage to economic activities and the health of the population.  

2018: Formalization of support for the project by Avon. 

2020: The Pantanal suffers again from forest fires, which decimate the gardens and crops of rural communities.  

2023: “Cumbaru” project comes into operation 
April/2023: first meetings to present the project to women’s groups and create the management nucleus. 

Maio/2023: local workshops on association management.

Full name:

Projeto Cumbaru: Protagonismo das mulheres pantaneiras extrativistas na cadeia produtiva de frutos nativos do Pantanal.  


12 months.



Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 

Project activities

Specific objective 1: To form at least one (01) formal association of agroextractivist women

Local workshops on association management will be conducted to explain the importance of the Bylaws and present organizational models for women, in addition to a regional meeting for the association's Constitution Assembly. 

Finally, with specialized consultancy, the process of registering the association's documents at a notary's office and requesting the CNPJ will begin. 

Specific objective 2: Empower women, encouraging their autonomy to sell extractive products, without the need for intermediaries 

Local and regional workshops will be conducted on management and development of production chains, and basic accounting notions to qualify the work of women in both municipalities. 

Specific objective 3: Build policy and law proposals aimed at women and the use of regional biodiversity

nitially, an office will be built in the municipality of Poconé, which will be the headquarters of the women's association, and where they will conduct meetings with strategic figures to discuss public policies for plant extractivism in the Pantanal. 

Logistics will also be covered for the participation of women's representatives in important events on the topic in Brasília and Montes Claros, exchanging experiences with cooperatives and associations already active in the area. 


Association of Pantanal women created


Pantanal women trained and ready to work at the end of the Cumbaru production chain


new public policy proposed on the extraction of native fruits from the Pantanal


square meters of office structure built for the operationalization of associations.

Project impacts



Avon is part of the Natura&Co group, one of the largest beauty groups in the world, and its purpose is to empower women and promote their financial independence. With the aim of being the best beauty company in the world and for the world, Avon has a sustainability policy that focuses on commitment to life, addressing social problems such as equality and inclusion, and environmental problems such as climate crises and loss of biodiversity. 

Associação de Produtores Rurais de Nossa Senhora de Lourdes

The Association of Rural Producers of the Nossa Senhora de Lourdes community was created in 1998, in the traditional community of José Alves, in Mato Grosso. The organization, which brings together family farmers, settlers and Pantanal farmers, aims to provide services that can contribute to the promotion and rationalization of agricultural management and the improvement of the living conditions of its members.

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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