Plant extraction consists in the simple extraction of plant products that have not been cultivated by man, such as wood, oils, fruits, rubber, among others.
In Brazil, especially in the Northern Region, the extraction of woods, chestnuts, acai and latex (which is a sap extracted from rubber) is very common, widely used for the manufacture of rubber. Although extractivism is not always considered predatory and destructive, it is difficult to find ecologically balanced areas.
We should not confuse plant extraction with agriculture. In extractivism, man only collects the resources that nature provides him with; In agriculture, man reaps what he has sown and cultivated. Plant extractivism is also called plant collection.
Main products of plant extractivism
Brazil, being a country with a vast territorial extension, presents sufficient space for nature reserves.
THE wood It is one of the most targeted products in plant extraction in Brazil. It is usually extracted from the araucaria or subtropical forest, destined to the production of paper and pulp; of the Atlantic forest, which continues to be illegally exploited, even though there is protection of law; and the Amazon rainforest, which generates a lot of hardwood. Logging is directly linked to the problem of deforestation in Brazil.
Wood: vegetal extractivism
In eastern Pará, there is especially the extraction of Brazil nuts, which is a highly valued product in Brazil and also in exports. About 80% of production is destined for the USA and Western Europe. The main producers are Amapá and Pará.
Typical palm trees from the Amazon region provide palm heart, which supplies the domestic market and is still used for export, since from these trees practically everything is used. The main palm heart producers are Amapá and Pará.
The extraction of latex has already had much more significant importance in its extractivism for Brazil. The product obtained through rubber is still used in the national production of rubber, but lost much space with the advancement of technology.
O babassu, extracted from palm trees that make up the cocais forest, found mainly in Maranhão, western Piauí and Tocantins, is important in industrial and food applications.
Babassu palm tree
In Piauí, Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte, the extraction of carnauba, made in large palm trees, is intended for various industrial applications. It is fully utilized and called the "tree of life". From the leaf, wax is produced; from the stem, the wood; and, from the roots, medicines.
The northeastern region of Brazil still has the extraction of piassava, used in brooms and ropes of ships; coconut, which is widely used; cashews, which generate an oil with special properties; and buriti, which has food and medicinal functions.