Posted by on 20 de abril de 2017

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BRIEF HISTORY:

The MaGoya do Cerrado ecotype is a morphological variety of the Salmiana section of the Agave genus grown in the Cerrado region of Goiás, located in the Central-West region of Brazil. Cerrado is a savanna biome that gathers a complex mosaic of several types of vegetation, which cover approximately 2,000,000 km of Central Brazil.

 “Maguey do Cerrado Products Platform” is a sustainable development project with social impact that aims for the creation of functional and cultural products. It utilizes exclusively vegetable and ethic ingredients ecologically produced from the MaGoya do Cerrado ecotype. Coordinated by researcher Adriana Parada, the project is managed by the startup Inspira, the Dialogue Network Casa Brasil Digital and the Cultural Collective Koskatl.

The experimental growth of the ecotype MaGoya do Cerrado was done in the city of Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. It was established on a plot  (geographical coordinates 16°43’58.3″S 49°18’01.5″W), with an average altitude of 749 metres. Through a longitudinal study done between the years 1998 and 2015, pre-breeding and breeding activities were conducted, and a micro-model for growing MaGoya do Cerrado was established.

The Maguey do Cerrado presents structural and functional characteristics of adaptation to environments with water restriction. The structural and functional modifications recorded were considered efficient adaptation strategies since, despite the hydric deficit of the region, the plants showed excellent physical development, demarcated maturation cycles, efficient propagation and sap production with large-scale potential. Indicators of structural modification include the adaptations developed for greater efficiency in water absorption and lower energy expenditure. Another indicator can be measured by the quality of the sap produced by the plants; rich in polysaccharides, simple sugars and alcohol. Preliminary results of the determination of the total sugars of Maguey do Cerrado sap in natura revealed a fructophilic substrate composed by 62% of sugars, 32% being fructose and 30% being glucose.

In 2016 we had a few important achievements:

The registration of the ecotype Maguey do Cerrado in the National Registry of Cultivars (MAPA).

The acceptance of papers that describe the results of the Cultivar’s research by international events: Presentation of the paper at the 2nd International Conference on Environmental Sustainability, Development, and Protection (Barcelona/April) and the European Biomass Conference (Stockholm/June)

The selection of the “Concentrado de Aguamiel 100% Maguey do Cerrado” for the Prêmio Brasil Criativo (Creative Brazil Award) as the second-best gastronomy project in Brazil.

The selection for financing of the prototype of Innovation “Concentrado de Aguamiel 100% Maguey do Cerrado” by the National Service of Industrial Learning (SENAI).

What We Do

In the year 2016, we started a project of medium propagation of the Maguey do Cerrado, in the headquarters of the Cultivar.

We intend to distribute 1200 seedlings a year to small family farmers, as well as offer practical permaculture and water management experiences for volunteers. For this, a nursery with capacity for 1200 seedlings was built. 

In January 2017, 200 seedlings were transferred to the growing nursery area. They must stay there for one year before being sent to final planting (small family farms). We seek funding to expand the facilities of the growing nursery, in order to enable the development of a greater number of plants and consequently to distribute to a larger number of families willing to cultivate the Maguey do Cerrado.

In 2017 we started the Magoya Ixtle sustainability project: aimed at women at social risk, it proposes the processing of the Maguey do Cerrado fibres and the development of biodegradable and low cost products: 100% biodegradable dental floss and organic bio-hair.

How our project works

The project stands out for rescuing a traditional experience and amplifying it through research and development, generating a new product and an alternate production model with sustainable foundations in balance with nature.

Through a dialogue network, it promotes the connection of groups, producers and training institutions, with the goal of developing products, services and training processes that enable sustainable local development.

MAGUEY DO CERRADO – PRODUCTS PLATFORM:

This product platform is a proposal of technologic innovation for the reproduction, establishment, production and full use of Maguey do Cerrado, starting from the study of territorialities and encompassing the knowledge areas of biotechnology, process engineering and industrial development.

Structured around five key areas, the platform stands out for its innovative model of articulated management networks, generating products and solutions that can be replicated on a global scale.

KEY AREAS:

1. Grow Crops: Urban Cultivation; Agroecological Cultivation; Nursery.

2. Research and Development: Studies and tests; Intellectual production; Cultivation of micro-organisms; Production of biomass and biopolymers.

3. Cultural and Functional Creations: Gastronomy (Elaboration of nutritive and functional caloric sweeteners; Manufacture of distilled beverages); Nutraceuticals (Manufacturing of food fibres).

4. Dissemination and Replication of Experience: Printed media publications; Digital publications; Audio-visual.

Our values

This research proposes technologic innovation for the reproduction, establishment, production and full use of Maguey do Cerrado starting from the field of study of territorialities, encompassing the knowledge areas of biotechnology, process engineering and social development. The project stands out for its innovative model of articulated management networks, generating products and solutions that can be replicated with emphasis, but not exclusively, on family agroecology. It also stands out for rescuing a traditional experience and amplifying it through research and development, generating a new product and an alternate production model with sustainable foundations in balance with nature.

Our physical environment and the changes we aim for

In January 2017, two hundred seedlings were transferred to the growing nursery area. They must stay there for one year before being sent to final planting (small family farms). For the 2017/18 biennium, we set some priorities:

1.      expand the facilities of the growing nursery, in order to enable the development of a greater number of plants and consequently to distribute to a larger number of families willing to cultivate the Maguey do Cerrado

2.      for the realization of the vegetable honey prototype, we have established a partnership with the Institute of Food Technology

Biggest challenges

Our challenge is to be independent: 

We are a collective, independent and collaborative project which unites people around a common idea: the production of foods through an ethical and healthy development system, with ecologic and technologic production methods. Designed to be executed by small urban and rural farmers, it can be replicated in environments with water restriction, not just in Brazil but other parts of the world.

But what does being a collective, independent and collaborative project mean?

It means aiming for sustainability through collaborative economy.

It means acting under a production logic opposite to the one in place.

It means developing technologies that can and should be replicated.

It means demonstrating that if it’s possible for one, it is possible for all.

It is exactly because we’re independent, and in order for us to stay independent, that part of our job is searching for viable alternatives through crowdfunding, prize funding, and other support activities.

Socio-environmental impact

The project develops cultural, environmental and educational actions aiming for families and women in situations of social vulnerability. In partnership with quilombola communities, we promote traditional knowledge activities, creative and solidary economy, memory and cultural patrimony. The participation of these communities aims to: contribute to their access to the production of cultural goods, promote self-esteem, sense of belonging and citizenship, dynamize cultural spaces in the project’s territories of action, generate job opportunities and income, support the development of community actions planned in defense of collective goals.

Natural resources

THE PROBLEM:

The effects of climate change, urbanization and water restriction in the planet make it difficult to obtain the water needed to meet the growing demands of agriculture. In Brazil, the need to preserve genetic and energetic resources aimed at bio-energy is especially important, as most of the crops that make up the productive foundation of the country are of exotic origin.

THE SOLUTION PROPOSAL:

Maguey do Cerrado is a Cultivar which is a source for foods, fibres and fuels and, due to an interaction with the environment, requires less water because of its CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism). The typical characteristic of those that use this metabolism is the production of reserve carbohydrates (fructans), which allow the development of the plant through osmoregulation, cryopreservation and tolerance to drought.

The structural and functional modifications recorded were considered efficient adaptation strategies, as despite the hydro deficiencies of the region, the plants showed excellent physical development, demarcated maturation cycles, efficient propagation and sap production.

Beyond its nutritional and functional properties, the Maguey do Cerrado sap has revealed itself as an important substrate with an availability of nutrients which allow the development of microorganisms, which in turn produce enzymes and organic acids.

Community

Our project promotes, continuously, capacitation activities in the social and cultural areas. The local community is involved in every step of the developing projects, as a formation strategy. This learning allows an individual and collective appropriation of knowledge which, with the reality of the community, become culturally significant. The construction of meanings process is important because, if effective, it can be multipliable, providing a larger scale development and making the autonomous continuity of the involved groups possible.

Through learning and team work exercises, distribution of roles and individual and group performance evaluation are strategies for the larger social recognition and development project. The axis focused on the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs) seeks to build a link between popular knowledge and technical-scientific knowledge, with the aim of encouraging community organization, social inclusion and digital inclusion, by means of activities (products, techniques and/or replicable methodologies) for the dissemination and transference of technology, aiming, in the medium term, for economic development.

Networks

Through a dialogues network our project promotes the connection of groups, local producers and training institutions with the objective of developing products, services and formative processes that enable sustainable local development. Our way of acting includes:

Articulation of different research groups focused on social technologies aimed at sustainability;

Incorporation of convergent and low-cost technologies as an innovative solution to promote the inclusion of people living in socially vulnerable areas;

Production of contents, methodologies and products from a multidisciplinary work with technical staff made up of researchers, students, local producers and external collaborators.

Supporting others

We develop products, services and cultural knowledge in a collaborative way at a local and regional level, promote activities to disseminate experiences through presentation of results in open information platforms and do experience replication actions through formative workshops and Maguey do Cerrado seedling donation to small producers.

Maguey do Cerrado presents itself as an excellent alternative for producing foods and biomass in regions of semi-arid grounds with low productivity, since it resists drought problems.

We seek funding to expand the facilities of the growing nursery, in order to enable the development of a greater number of plants and consequently to distribute to a larger number of families willing to cultivate the Maguey do Cerrado.

Development of the prototype Magoya Ixtle: dental floss and Organic bio-hair, processing of the Maguey do Cerrado fibres and development of biodegradable and low cost products.

e-book edition: Maguey do Cerrado – CAPACITIES OF A NEW AGRICULTURE: Agroecological Solutions To Produce More Efficient Crops With Lower Water And Energy Costs.

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