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Associations in the emergent communities at the Amazon forest frontier, Mato Grosso

A broad arch of deforestation spans the lower Brazilian Amazon, cutting through the State of Mato Grosso. At the forest frontier, varied traditions of family farming are being adapted by migrant settlers of diverse origins. The forceful expansion of soybean plantations led by global markets is displacing family farms or incorportating them into out-growing schemes. Commodity plantations are pushing cattle ranching further into the forests. Logging is also opening up new access at the frontier. Conflicts are all but inevitable. As associations endeavor to strengthen the voice of marginalized groups their role and functions continue to evolve. This report analyses eight active associations along the BR 163 highway in Mato Grosso. It assesses the factors that have allowed them to function and spread benefits to the poor. It also identifies the types of external support that have proven useful.

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