(PRESS RELEASE) OSLO, 17-Mar-2021 — /EuropaWire/ — Hydro announces that The Hydro Sustainability Fund has partnered with Brazil’s Mitsui Bussan Foundation to launch a new initiative in the Barcarena region called ‘Tipitix’ with the aim to boost the use of agricultural products derived from mandioca.
Tipitix is a community agri-food entrepreneurship initiative in Barcarena that takes its name from an indigenous woven basket used to process mandioca. Hydro has an alumina refinery and aluminium plant in Barcarena.
The project aims to support income generation of farmers in the municipality by increasing the quality and added value of local production, especially mandioca, enabling it to reach different markets and consumers.
The initiative will receive BRL 1.5 million for the installation of a processing unit, which will offer opportunities to entrepreneurs and social groups in the region.
“The Hydro Sustainability Fund is a partner committed to the territories in which it operates, listening to the communities about their challenges and acting to enable sustainable solutions. Through this partnership with the Brazil’s Mitsui Bussan Foundation, we intend to generate value and new business in the mandioca chain, improving its organization, production and marketing. We invest in long-term investment in knowledge, dialogue and technical training to improve the quality of life in the Amazon,” says Eduardo Figueiredo, director of Territorial Development at Hydro.
“The Brazil’s Mitsui Bussan Foundation aims to give back to the Brazilian society the opportunities that were given to Mitsui & Co to make viable the countless business we have been doing in Brazil for more than 70 years, supporting the country’s socio-economic development. For us, this partnership with HSF is fully aligned with the purpose of the Brazil’s Mitsui Bussan Foundation, positively impacting Barcarena’s socio-economic development. We believe that professional training and financial support are essential for the human development of the most needy, and we are very happy to be able to support this cause together with HSF,” says Takeo Fukushima, financial director of Brazil’s Mitsui Bussan Foundation.
What is mandioca?
In addition to a space for the processing of mandioca, Tipitix will provide marketing and commercialization strategies, facilitating access of these products to the market and to new buyers, such as small commercial establishments in the region, restaurants in Barcarena and innovation startups in the agrifood chain.
The project, which lasts 12 months, also foresees offering microcredit to people and organizations along the mandioca value chain. It is expected that it will serve 200 family producers of mandioca and derivatives in its first year.
The Peabiru Institute is the implementing partner of Tipitix and will be responsible for the initial administration of the project, until a local group is prepared for management in the future. It will also mobilize and select the beneficiaries of the business unit. The selection of users will seek to guarantee, in a broad and equitable way in the territory, access of the different local productive groups to the opportunities offered by the project. This process begins with the definition of criteria for participation, preparation and launch of a public call, selection of participants and registration and formalization of beneficiaries (in Portuguese).
Business Development Cycle – Along with the launch of Tipitix, the call for tenders for the first Business Development Cycle is open, with the participation of 10 entrepreneurs, individually or in groups, for three months. The registration of interested parties will start on March 17 and the project team will then contact the candidates to present the business idea. It is essential that the proposed initiatives have the objective of processing and/or selling products from family farming in Barcarena.
Those selected will be announced on April 20. They will receive support in technical assistance in adapting their business model; infrastructure for processing your production; support in design, credit and commercial advice to place the product and/or service on the market; as well as administrative and accounting support for the procedures related to the formalization and management of the business. More information about the announcement here (in Portuguese).
What is Tipiti? Tipiti it is an indigenous woven basket used to process mandioca. Made with straw palms from the region, it is a unique tool from the Amazon, it is braided in a tube shape which works as a press. Mandioca is squeezed, and the resulting liquid is transformed into flour. The name Tipitix for business unit adds the ancestral heritage to the “x,” representing the cross between tradition and the modern in a network of actors for sustainable development.
About the Hydro Sustainability Fund Non-profit organization created in 2019 to promote sustainable development and support community-based projects, based on the guidelines outlined within the scope of the Sustainable Barcarena Initiative. It finances projects that contribute to sustainable development, with investment lines based on real demands from the territory. The Fund is maintained by the companies Hydro, Albras and Alunorte, and has an investment commitment of BRL 100 million over 10 years.
About the Mitsui Bussan Foundation Formed in February 2008 by Mitsui & Co. (Brazil) S.A., Mitsui Rail Capital Latin America (MRCLA), Mitsui Alimentos and Mitsui Gás e Energia do Brasil. The Foundation supports activities in the areas of Education, Environment and Bilateral Exchange between Japan and Brazil, in order to contribute to the strengthening of friendship and the development of partnerships between these two countries.
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SOURCE: Norsk Hydro ASA