Quésia Sá Pavão represents Brazil in one of the world’s most important events related to our food systems and their challenges, the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). She has joined the International Young Farmers Forum, a meeting that is part of the GFFA, with a group of 20 young leaders from around the world. They will exchange experiences and find solutions for a relevant task, the “Transformation of Food Systems: a Global Response to Multiple Crises.”
An agricultural engineer from the state of Pará, Quésia will be the only Brazilian at the meeting, which is held in Berlin, Germany. She says she is honored to represent Brazil in the Forum and acknowledges the responsibility. “It is a privilege to be a voice of the country’s youth leadership, directly from the Amazon. I hope to accomplish this mission, share experiences of our food systems, and surely learn and get in touch with young people from different countries,” she highlights.
Quésia should take the experience of her research on the productive chain of açaí, the popular fruit in the Amazon region that is now conquering the world. During the fourth edition of the CNA Youth program, she developed the project to raise awareness of the uses of açaí’s seeds to ensure an adequate destination for the leftovers from the fruit’s extraction. The topic is also part of the Ph.D. in Environmental Resource Management and Conservation that she is undertaking at the Federal Rural University of the Amazon (UFRA) based in Belém, the capital city of Pará.
“The açaí seed has an incredible calorific potential that can generate energy, besides being a raw material for several sectors, including construction and even the cosmetic industry. I want to take this knowledge to the world and show that our ideas can contribute to the protection of the environment,” she explains.
Açaí is a very significant food in the diet of Northern Brazil, where its consumption dates back to pre-Columbian times. Nowadays, it is cultivated not only in the Amazon region but in several other Brazilian states; it is also exported to several countries. The fruit is processed into pulp for supplying food products manufacturers or retailers and sold as frozen pulp, juice, or an ingredient in various beverages. The seed makes up about 60% to 80% of the açaí fruit. As Quésia explains, it can be used to make concrete and other resistant objects, as well as being a raw material for cosmetic products and ornaments, as well as a source of thermal energy.
Born and raised in the rural area of the state of Pará, Quésia plans to go deeper into the subject of environmental conservation and develop the Quessaí project, spreading the importance of making full use of the fruit. “I want to take this message to the world, but mainly to raise awareness of all those involved in the fruit’s production chain,” she explains.
The German Embassy made an invitation to the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA). At the end of the conference, young farmers who are members of the GFFA will prepare a document with propositions, demands, and recommendations to be delivered to agricultural policymakers taking part in the Forum.