Rolling Green Hills of the Cacau Farms


I left Altamira, X-Tudos, icecream, and beer behind me and hit the road again towards Medicilandia. I entered cacau farmland which is at least visually more appealing than cattle fazenda. While resting in a roadside hut I had the chance to speak to one of these farmers.

Everyone in Brazil is pretty pumped right now that Rio de Janeiro has been chosen as the site of the 2016 olympics. This is mostly what this farmer had to talk about after he came to investigate me lounging on a bench in the shade at the edge of his land.

He told me he works the cacau fields and pointed adjacent to the small house he lives in with his family. I asked if the land was his and he said, “Oh, no. I just work it.”

He went on to complain that´s its been so dry and farmig wasn´t easy with all the dust. I asked when the rain would come, and he thought either December or even January.

From what I understand cacau farming is still not a sustainable use of the land, although better of the evils when compared to cattle ranching. Eventually, the soil will probably be too dusty to be profitable at all.

As I continued on I saw a sign (of which I´ve seen many other similar signs) showing who does own this land…Banco da Amazonia.


(Side note: as I typed that last sentance a cockroach climbed out of the keyboard. Ugh.)

I made it to Medicilandia uneventfully and had a dinner of various grilled meats, something that looked and tasted like chicken feed, and an unkown juice served in a used plastic cup. I then sat back and watched the drunken Sunday night antics of a small town split down the middle by the TransAm (the amount of people driving dirt bikes and the level on intoxication of some of these drivers is truly awe inspiring.)

3 Responses to “Rolling Green Hills of the Cacau Farms”
  1. Maybe you should have eaten the cockroach they say it has lots of neutrients.

    by John
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  2. its really sad to know that all this land you’ve seen was once a thriving biosphere teeming with life, in amazing balance, and perhaps home to species of plants, animal and fungi that could benefit us all.

    by sara
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  3. Everytime you mention the dust and depletion of the land, I am reminded of that article I wrote in 1991 – even 17 years later, the visuals that you describe resonate since not much seems to be done to restore the damage done or to find a better way to utilize the rainforest than to ruin the ecosystem like that. Like many of the other ills humans bring on them selves, they should know better but indulge in detrimental behavior rather than ponder the consequences.

    by Ken
    on 12. Oct, 2009

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