From the 90's, with the increasing international pressure to preserve the Rainforest, the non-timber forest products have emerged as animportant alternative to promote the socio-economic development of the region because they didn´t require ecologically destructive techniques such as deforestation and forest fires to become a viable reality.

This exposure of the Rainforest in the national and international media drew the attention to the various regional fruits such as açaí, cupuaçu and guaraná. The domestic market began to show an increasing demand for these fruits.It started with the idea that the consumption of these products made of Rainforest fruits would help to preserve the biodiversity of the region. It didn´t take long until the world discovered that the benefits of their consumption was not only restricted to the environment.Nutritional and even medicinal benefits became in a short time the main motivating factor of the increasing demand for these ¨Rainforest jewels¨.

In a society asking more and more for health and longevity, the fruits from the Brazilian part of the Rainforest play an increasingly influential and expanding role.

Among these wonderful fruits, one of the most prominentis the açaí. The Açaizeiro, a slender palm tree on which grows the açaí berry, is a tree of a great socio-economic importance for the region.Due to its enormous potential as raw material for various applications, it is almost 100% usable. Its organized and sustainable exploration is crucial for the economies of the states of Pará, Amapá, Maranhão, Acre andRondônia, especially for these first two states. The açai became a major pillar of the economic sustainability of the local populations. With the expansion and growing value of the açaímarket, the locals reduced the extraction and sales of palm heart to the processing industries. This has caused a positive impact on the preservation of the native açai palm trees.

Growth and expansion of the sector

There was also an increase in the implementation of the managed systems, particularly on non-flooded areas. It is estimated that the extraction, transportation, commercialization and industrialization of the fruits and palm heart are responsible for generating more than 100,000 direct jobs according to a study of 2009.

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