This case study examines a project to develop a macauba-based silvopastoral system and value chain in Brazil. The project was funded in part by the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF) Forest Investment Program (FIP) through the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank (MIF/IDB) Lab.
The macauba palm tree, native to Brazil, is a productive, oil-producing plant with high potential for biofuel production, especially in dry tropical regions. The macauba tree could produce oil to sustainably meet rising Brazilian and global biofuel demand without the need for clearing more land, and without reducing pastures for cattle grazing. Also, the macauba offers a complementary income for coffee harvesters in the region, as the macauba harvest (October to January) takes place after the coffee harvest.
The project’s executing agency is a private start-up company called INOCAS, a spin-off from a European Union-funded research project on biofuels for the airline industry. After a successful feasibility study between 2012 and 2014, the project started implementation in 2017.
The project intends to establish 2,000 hectares of silvopastoral macauba plantations with 300 trees per hectare, collect 1,500 tons of macauba fruits per year, sequester 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, and train 120 farmers on agroforestry systems.