The humble babassu palm provides a livelihood for communities of women across North Eastern Brazil. Bread, charcoal, oil and soap are produced from the nut and husk; the surplus is sold on. But production has not always been so peaceful. Babassu: Brazil’s Warrior Women tells the story of the hard battle to maintain these communities’ way of life. In the face of intimidation and threats from farmers for years, Babassu women have negotiated their own terms; creating a grassroots movement and establishing the ‘Free Babassu Law’ in seven states. The law gives landless coconut gatherers rights to collect from palm groves. These inspiring women are now able to plan for the long-term, diversifying their business and securing their future. They fight for their families, their forests and the Amazon as a whole.
Fakta menarik & tokoh utama
- 400,000 women extract babassu palm in Brazil with ¾ of them in the states of Maranhão, Piauí, Tocantins and Pará.
- Community mapping has now shown that the babassu palm trees cover, with different densities, more than 25 million hectares across four states.
- The babassu palm grows up to 20 or 30 m tall and can be 30-40 cm in width. Their fruits are like small, 6-15 cm long, pointed coconuts.
- The fruits may contain between two and five almonds
- Babassu palm trees begin to produce fruit after 7-10 years and end at 35, with a productivity of 2.2-15.6 tons of fruit per ha/year.
This film has been recognised in the Filmambiente Film Festival and was screened in Rio de Janerio 2015. It has been shown to indigenous leaders in Indonesia and at side events of the UN Climate Week in New York. This story has also been selected by Alimenterre Film Festival, a global festival aimed at French-speaking audiences in October 2016. In February 2017 it was shortlisted for the Women’s Voices Now festival.