Brazil Cattle Raisers Now Raise Caiman for the Meat and Leather

Brazil's tannery company Aguacerito Aguacerito Leather Comércio de Couro Ltda, a Brazilian tannery company, located in the municipality of Poconé, in the Pantanal region of the midwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, has obtained a funding of 4.1 million Brazilian reais (US$ 2.2 million) from the Midwestern Constitutional Fund (Fundo Constitucional do Centro-Oeste – FCO).

The funds will be invested in the construction of warehouses, a slaughterhouse for slaughtering caimans and fish, a tannery, offices, and a structure consisting of a restaurant and a souvenir shop. The intention, for the future, is to receive tourists in the complex, entitled Pantanal Caiman Parque.

According to veterinarian Lauzimar Fernando Morandi, technical director at the company, this funding will leverage the process and the activity in the region, which houses cattle raisers from 41 farms in the Pantanal region, encompassing an area of more than 100,000 hectares in the region of Poconé, 60 miles away from the state capital.

"This activity is making Pantanal farms viable. It is an alternative for raisers who are limited to cattle. In the flood period, which extends from December until March, they used to virtually stop working," he says.

Even prior to the liberation of the FCO funds, works had already begun with an investment of more than 1 million reais (US$ 547,225) by the company itself.

The slaughterhouse, whose plant has a slaughtering capacity for 500 animals/day and 100 tons of fish/day, should be ready by February 2008. The plant is the first of its kind in Latin America to receive a Federal Inspection Stamp (SIF, in the Portuguese acronym), which allows for exporting.

"The plant should carry out industrialization of products byproducts," he claims. The tannery will have a processing capacity of 15 to 20,000 caiman skins per month, all of them with finishing, therefore with a greater market value.

Counting on 120,000 animals, Aguacerito Leather currently employs 27 people who handle the animals.

"With the construction work underway, we now have over 100 people working, and now we are going to have more than 100 employees," Morandi says.

This will exert a significant impact on the economy of the municipality, which has little more than 31,000 inhabitants, according to data supplied by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) and few income alternatives.

Established approximately one year ago, with technical support from the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) in Mato Grosso, Aguacerito Leather is practically ready for the first slaughter, although it does not count on a proper location for that.

"We must find a place in which to slaughter this first set of animals," claims Morandi, confident that the enterprise has come to stay, and that it will leverage the economy of the municipality, and the activity in the state.

The creation of animals in captivity, such as the caiman, is one of the subjects of the 'Regional Leather Seminar – Trends, Design, Market, and Business,' which is taking place October 7 to October 6 at the Pantanal Event Center in Cuiabá, capital of Mato Grosso state.

The event is promoted by the Sebrae/Mato Grosso, counting on support from the government of the state, the state of Mato Grosso Research Foundation, the Secretariat of State for Industry, Trade, Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Supply, and The Federal Agricultural Technical School of Cáceres. The event will feature specialists in the subject.

Service:

Sebrae/MT – (65) 3648-1200 – www.mt.sebrae.com.br

Aguacerito Leather – (65) 3345-1738 – aguaceritoleather@hotmail.com

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