Agroforestry workshop in Zutiwa village is coming!

Preparations for the workshop on agroforestry systems in the Zutiwa village, on the Araribóia indigenous land, are in full swing! It will be a historic moment shared with peasants and representatives of five indigenous peoples.

Author: Ana Rosa. Leia em português.

Between September 14 and 16, the Agroforestry workshop will take place in Zutiwa village, the largest village in the Araribóia indigenous land, in co-construction with facilitators Rafael Lopes and Paulo Henrique Nenevê, from Rizosfera Consultoria Agroflorestal; the president of Meli Brasil, Jonas Guajajara; the leader of the Lago Branco Brigade, Francisco Neto Guajajara, the chiefs of Zutiwa village and various other leaders from the Araribóia indigenous land.

Meetings that bring together different communities engaged in the Network are moments of great exchange and celebration, which motivates the network even more. In July 2022, Meli established a new tradition in the Network: Practical Soil Connection Workshops. The first edition took place in the Frei Henri community, in Curianópolis, Pará. This was the Meli Network’s first multi-community workshop, with participants coming from indigenous, peasant and extractivist communities.

Image: Photo during the Agroecology workshop in the Frei Henri community

Reni Lourenço, a resident of the Frei Henri community, was one of the main organizers of last year’s event and said she really enjoyed the “unity between the communities, the willingness to learn and teach, the respect for and caring about our differences.” She also highlighted the participation of Francisco and Jonas, two leaders of this year’s event: “the joy of Jonas and his companions. They were always keen to learn new things, Franciscos telling stories and helping with all the work, and now I want to see what their work is like, I want to learn what they have to teach us.” In the second edition of a workshop along these lines, it’s their turn to welcome Ms. Lourenço!

After last year’s workshop, each participant returned to their community with a lot to learn, multiplying this knowledge in various ways. Francisco Neto Guajajara, a resident of Zutiwa village, was one of the participants and said that he had enjoyed learning about “the types of soil, how to recover a degraded area, spacing between seedlings, the right age for planting seedlings and how to prepare the soil” and also the connection between the land and healthy eating: “I really enjoyed the healthy eating classes (…) I enjoyed experimenting during those days with eating only natural foods.”

Image: Disclosure with photo of agroforestry system developed by the Lago Branco Brigade

Almost a year after the workshop in the Frei Henri community, Francisco, now leader of the forest fire brigade in the Lago Branco region, started an agroforestry system with the other brigade participants. When we asked him how this experience has been, and relating the development of agroforestry systems in Arariboia to what he learned during the workshop in Frei Henri, he told us “doing what I learned there [at the agroecology workshop in the Frei Henri community] gives me more experience in this area, it’s not being too difficult. We’ll try to improve at every opportunity”.

This workshop will be even more special because it will take place in the Arariboia territory, home to some very inspiring members of the Meli Network since its inception. We’re looking forward to the exchanges between participants from such diverse communities.

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