Cashew Plantations - Assisting Brazil's Land Reform Holders with Diversification & Productivity
Description/achievement of initiative

Arborem has entered into agreement with Brazil's leading land reform group to help them raise their productivity and their incomes to lift smallholders above the poverty line. Without any official or authorized statistics, some estimates suggest that less than 1% of the 88 million hectares of redistributed land in Brazil, under the land reform movement of the last twenty five years, reaches the global median productivity benchmark for fully mechanized agricultural land. As has been proven in Africa with assistance from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation amongst many others, cashew plantations are an ideal way to achieve this objective

Implementation methodologies

Arborem is initiating its project with 505 families on approximately 5,000 hectares in the State of Pernambuco. The goal is to help plant at least 100,000 hectares of cashew by 2020. For additional projects Arborem hopes to attract matching international like-minded supporters, in the area of sustainable social inclusion. Cashew (anacardium occidentale) comes from Brazil, which today is only the world's 7th largest exporter of cashew nuts. Partnering with Embrapa, Arborem will produce higher yielding trees seeking the best germplasm inside and outside Brazil. With better overall technology the return per hectare p.a. can increase fourfold. Arborem is establishing cooperatives and installing Hi-Tec processing plants in partnership with the landholders so that they can benefit from the entire value chain and the Fair Trade brand.

In its methodology, Arborem is working with the iGRF (instituto Genômico de Recursos Florestais). Arborem's parent group controls PETRA Energia, Latin America's largest privately held oil & gas company. The iGRF is a Brazilian genetic research institute focused on plant genomes and forestry resources. International collaboration with Arborem is coordinated by Charles Frewen a lifelong campaigner and supporter of the Brazilian Rainforest and Cerrado

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure


iGRF (Instituto Genômico de Recursos Florestais)
Progress reports
Implant cashew project and intercropping technology with 505 families on 5,000 hectares
Other, please specify
Cost of initial project in cash and in kind already committed
Other, please specify
Cost of initial project in cash and in kind already committed
Other, please specify
Nursery, Germplasm, & Grafting seedlings
Staff / Technical expertise
scientific, technical and administrative team
In-kind contribution
Time, logistics, infrastructure, administrative team,

Basic information
Time-frame: - 2013-12-31
iGRF (Instituto Genômico de Recursos Florestais)
Contact information
Charles Frewen, Drector, frewen@frewen.com
United Nations