Family working arrangements in the production of palm oil in Tomé-Açu, Pará

Abstract The aim of this article is to analyze the working arrangements on family farms where each family member has a distinct relationship with oil palm cultivation in Vila Água Azul, Tomé-Açu, Pará, considering the debate on how oil palm cultivation impacts family labor and the trend towards agriculture with more perennial crops. The research involved three types of families: those with a contract for oil palm cultivation, those with at least one family member employed in oil palmcultivation, and families which were not involved in this activity. We found that: i) working arrangements depend on the size of the land, the development cycle of the household group, and the system of production; ii) there is a directrelationship between the production of palm oil and dependence on hired labor; iii) men work predominantly in agriculture and women in other activities. Work on family farms is the result of numerous arrangements and has been re-signifiedso that cultivation of food crops becomes less important than oil palm cultivation and family farms where oil palms are not cultivated are more diversified. Families that do and do not cultivate oil palm consequently differ in terms of theirproduction systems and working arrangements.