Timor-Leste has enormous potential for the agricultural sector

Timor-Leste has enormous potential for the agricultural sector

The fields in Atabae, Bobonaro. Image TATOLI//António Daciparu

DILI, 05 july 2021 (TATOLI)- Timorese farms are not fully used for the potential of Agriculture development to provide  nutritive foods to contribute to reducing mal-nutrition in Timor-Leste.

The person in charge of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Timor-Leste (TL), Paula Lopes da Cruz said, TL has enormous potential for the agricultural sector but is not well developed to cultivate floods of increasing numbers of food diversification.

“We have a lot of unused land, we have great potential to produce nutritious food ingredients to meet the needs of the community, but at this time the farmers have not been able to produce more foods to respond the demand,” The person in charge of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Timor-Leste, Paula told to TATOLI Agency, in Minister of Health meeting room, in Caicoli, this monday

She explained that many factors also affect farmers to ensure the production of foodstuffs, among others, uncertain water supply during the long dry season, and limited access to transportation for farmers in remote areas. The price of food ingredients offered by farmers is more expensive because the production process requires time and funds, thereby reducing buyers.

“The price they provide is quite expensive, buyers are reduced, so they can’t compete with imported food stocks,” he said.

It is recalled that the Indonesian Ambassador to the TL, Sahat Sitorus also reminded that the potential of the land in the TL must be used properly by farmers with the help of the central government.

“I see TL has great potential for agriculture, but we need good training for farmers and adequate facilities, so that later TL does not depend on imports, at least we can reduce the number of imports,” said Sahat.

He emphasized that the Indonesian government is ready to assist Timor-Leste in developing the agricultural sector in order to build a better future for the nation.

According to the 2019 agricultural census report, it was stated that 66% of the heads of households in the TL gathered in agriculture, amounting to 141.141 households out of the total 213.417 households in the TL.

The agricultural land used by the household is 216.180 hectares and 3.070 hectares used for the agriculture sector and 15% of farmers are led by women.

It was also stated that 28.2% of farmers did not receive education, 27.6% at school level in cycles 1 and 2, 13.5% farmers in cycle 3, 15.8% farmers in high school including the Agricultural Engineering School (AES), (Agricola technical school), 2.2% at Diploma level and 3.9% at undergraduate level.

Journalist: José Belamino de Sá

Editor: Rafy Belo


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