EU-GIZ and partners hold aggro-forestry business dialogue for “Ai ba Futuru” Project

EU-GIZ and partners hold aggro-forestry business dialogue for “Ai ba Futuru” Project

Ambassador Andrew Jacobs (Image/Godinho)

DILI, 26 january 2022 (TATOLI)—The European Union (EU) and the German International Organization (GIZ) jointly held an aggro-forestry business dialogue to redefine the follow-up plan for the “Ai ba Futuru” program by 2022.

EU Ambassador to the TL, Andrew Jacobs said, the national workshop held by Ai ba Futuru with the theme Aggro-forestry Business Dialogue with the aim of contributing to market access and improving the quality of production of aggro-forestry value chain development by government agencies together with the private sector and producers.

The program was established to contribute to the peaceful, inclusive and sustainable development of the TL through improving rural access, job creation, economic and domestic income opportunities, and reducing food insecurity and enduring malnutrition in rural areas.

“We gathered here to hear what is needed to develop this small business in the future, even though the Ai ba Futuru program will end but the EU has prepared a fund of $55 million to create a new program for seven years in TL which will later be implemented by another agency,” Andrew said at the Timor Hotel on wednesday.

The main purpose of the dialogues is made to find out general and specific barriers and ways forward to overcome the challenges. It is required to set up a platform of dialogue to find out the partners in Indonesia.

The discussion was participated by the Principal Advisor Ai ba Futuru TL Rainer Schelhaas, Country Coordinator of GIZ, Chimera Commerce and Industry in Timor-Leste.

Also participating by stockholders from some different organizations such as KOLPING, STVJ and IMI introduced the group’s status, products, challenges and their commitment to helping develop the potential of rural communities.

“I am very pleased that Ai ba Futuru is hosting this Aggro-forestry Business Dialogue. It is an opportunity for farmers to promote high quality local products, local fruits or virgin coconut oil and among others. This product is able to access local supermarkets and can even be linked to international markets,” He said.

GIZ believes that this is a great benefit for TL farmers. It helps Timorese people get jobs on food processing from local fruit as well as virgin coconut oil.

“By consistently maintaining good product quality, I believe products from Timor-Leste will penetrate the international market,” Schelhaas said.

The intensification of local production is contributed by the aggro-forestry system. The project will expand 6,000 hectares of new agriculture farms. It is improving aggro-forestry areas, where it will plant 3,000,000 tree seedlings in 2022, for a long term period.

GIZ also will improve aggro-forestry value chains as targeted for market accessibility for specific value chains (agriculture, horticulture, wood production and processing) are improved.

The Ai ba Futuru project is being implemented in four eastern municipalities of TL (Baucau, Lautem, Manatuto and Viqueque), targeting 4,000 marginalized households in 40 selected villages.

This will increase the aggro-forestry area in Timor-Leste by 6,000 hectares with a total planting of three million trees. Targeted participants benefit from increased production, better job opportunities and better market access, resulting in higher incomes.

“Ai ba Futuru” is the Partnership for Sustainable Aggro-forestry (PSAF), co-financed by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (GIZ), in partnership with the government of Timor-Leste (TL).

Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Rafy Belo


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