Scientists On a Mission to Save Peruvian Brazil Nuts

The Brazil nuts are known for being some of the healthiest nuts available for human consumption. Innumerable candies, ice creams and delicious desserts have been created with Brazil nuts as the principle ingredient.

Though the name may suggest, Brazil nuts are not grown only in Brazil. They are grown across Peruvian Amazon forests and are called ‘cocos’ locally. When it rains between November and March, the nuts fall to the forest ground where they are cracked open by rodents or machete-wielding human beings. Brazil nuts only thrive in forests and have not been successfully grown in plantations.

Thus, scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) are working to understand if selective timber harvesting can be carried alongside Brazil nut production. The forests are home to castaneros, Brazil nut concession owners. They collect and sell the nuts for a living alongside chopping some wood alongside. Now, it is legal to chop a certain quality of wood every year but how it affects the production of Brazil nuts is not exactly known.

Scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) expect to find out if timber logging is affecting Brazil nut production in any manner. Tourists to Peru will be surprised to learn that the local cuisine features Brazilian nuts heavily.

Those who are interested to taste the nuts in the region they grow can make special tours to Amazonian forests deep in Peru’s inland territories. If the logging affects Brazil nut production in any way, the government must ensure that the activities, legal or illegal, do not continue. Moreover, much of Peruvian Amazon forests have already begun to experience the devastating effects of deforestation and industrialization.

Jude C

I am a travel enthusiast who has closely worked with different communities. My interests range from alternative rock to English literature. I also happen to love cats a lot.

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