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Agro-extractivist value chains and regional development: the case of the Lower Tocantins River in the Brazilian Amazon

Jochen Dürr


The Lower Tocantins river region offers a wide range of agricultural and extractive products like açaí palm fruits, pepper, oil palms and manioc, which are produced for local and national consumption and for exports. These products do not only generate value added in the agricultural sector, but also indirectly in other sectors like agro-industry and commerce. The value chains of agricultural and extractive products form the basis of the rural economy and hence for the development of the nine municipalities of the region. A total of twenty value chains are analyzed from primary producers to final consumers, including all the intermediaries in between. The evolution of the regional economy is then revealed by combining the structural value chain data with production data from the municipal level for the years 2001-2011. The results show that agricultural and extractive output value almost tripled in real terms during the decade, mainly due to increasing prices. But only nine out of the twenty products also augmented their output volume. The regional value added is 50% of the agricultural output value. Therefore, the price boom should also have generated higher benefits to the regional non-agricultural sectors, including the palm oil industry. These dynamics have consequences for the economic, social and ecological development of the region.


Value chains, Regional development, Lower Tocantins River, Input-Output-Tables

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5801/ncn.v17i2.1562

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Print ISSN: 1516-6481 – Eletrônica ISSN: 2179-7536