The initiative that took place between the 6th and 13th of November, in Alcoutim, in the scope of the QRIAR – Creative Incubator of the Algarve, which brought together 11 participants from various parts of the country.
The objective was “to raise awareness among participants and the community in general about the potential of sugarcane in contemporary uses, namely in sustainable architecture and, in particular, to captivate new entrepreneurs to develop, in the near future, projects around this plant”.
To this end, the action had the participation of the Voltes Cooperative, from Barcelona, specialist in this area of work, with several years of experience in the use of sugarcane in architecture, pedagogy and knowledge transmission projects.
During these days, participants had the opportunity to learn the entire process, from collecting to building with sugarcane, passing through cleaning, handling and cataloging.
The result of the works was a tunnel measuring about 7x5m, entirely handmade, with cane and sisal rope, installed inside the Alcoutim Castle, where it will be accessible to all curious and interested in getting to know this work and the techniques up close. she associated.
For the promoters, «the final balance of the action is very positive, widely recognized by participants, organizers and partners, so that soon, other initiatives will be announced, along the same line of action of the Magallanes_ICC project».
The work also deserved special recognition from the Municipality of Alcoutim which, taking advantage of the Minister for Territorial Cohesion to visit this town, promoted its inauguration with the entire delegation, who gathered to get to know this tunnel up close, the work of QRIAR and of the QRER Cooperative for low density territories.
The use of sugarcane is deeply rooted in the ancestral history of the Lower Guadiana. This exotic and invasive species has always been used in traditional construction, namely in the roofs of rural houses, in partitions and insulation, as well as in utilitarian objects such as baskets, baskets or mats.
However, these uses were being abandoned and today there are few who still use this plant and know its techniques for use.
However, its ergonomics, flexibility, strength and abundance make sugarcane a resource with special potential to explore.
It was with this idea that the QRER Cooperative, with the support and partnership of the Municipality of Alcoutim, launched the workshop “Space for the Valorization of Sugarcane” in Alcoutim – an integral part of QRIAR – Creative Incubator of the Algarve, with the objective of attracting entrepreneurs who want to make use of the workshop space, develop projects that catalyze business initiatives from it and settle in this region.
The space will soon be remodeled, properly equipped and equipped with conditions to study, experiment and work with sugarcane in its multiple possibilities. It will be available to interested parties in early 2021.
The Magallanes_ICC Project is a cross-border cooperation initiative, involving partners from the Algarve, Alentejo and Andalusia.
The action of the QRER Cooperative in the Algarve has the support of the Municipality of Alcoutim, Municipality of Loulé, the Union of Parishes of Querença, Tôr and Benafim, Parish Council of Alte and also the partnership of the Escola Profissional Cândido Guerreiro.