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Mary MacKillop Today supports 18 groups of vanilla farmers in Railaco

Mary MacKillop Today supports 18 groups of vanilla farmers in Railaco

Country director MARY MACKILLOP, Alipio Baltazar

DILI, 06 february 2022 (TATOLI) – Mary MacKillop Today (MMT) through the vanilla project ‘Beans of Hope’ supported 18 groups of vanilla farmers in the Railaco administrative post of Ermera Municipality.

Director of MMT, Alipio Baltazar, said that MMT’s main focus is to guide the 665 members of the 18 groups of vanilla farmers on vanilla crop cultivation and also supporting them with having access to the national vanilla market.

“Currently, we are preparing them to focus on vanilla cultivation. After that, we will support them on how to have access to the national vanilla markets. These 18 groups are from five different villages in Railaco,” Baltazar told Tatoli at his office, in Becora, in Dili.

He said there are only two vanilla buyers in Timor-Leste, namely Cooperativa Cafe Timor (CCT) and Dili Vanilla Company: “We will link these vanilla farmers to these two vanilla buyers, and also help them to know the export process of the vanilla product.

In order to increase vanilla production in the country, MMT is currently preparing to coordinate with the Secretariat of State for Cooperatives and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to support the vanilla farmer groups to have access to the global vanilla market.

“We have facilitated these groups by linking them with the national vanilla buyers, but we want to do more than that by cooperating with the government to facilitate these vanilla groups with a fair price. Because, with only two vanilla buyers, I think they could manipulate the price,” he said.

Dili Vanilli Company revealed that between 2018 and 2021, it exported around 400 kilograms of vanilla to Portugal, the US, and Australia.

These vanilla products came from the municipalities of Aileu, Same, and Ermera. A kilogram of vanilla in Timor-Leste cost US$15.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo

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