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CIVIL SOCIETY, ENVIRONMENT, VIQUEQUE

Care International supports horticulture groups in Ossu to increase households’ income

Care International supports horticulture groups in Ossu to increase households’ income

The Head of the Borala-A Horticulture Group, Raimundo da Costa (left), and the Head of Borala hamlet, Artur Pinto (right) are removing weeds from the crop field. Tatoli's image//Filomeno Martins

VIQUEQUE, 25 february 2022 (TATOLI) – Care International in Timor-Leste (CITL), through Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) Covid-19 Response supported horticulture groups in a number of villages in Ossu Administrative Post of Viqueque municipality, by providing agricultural materials to support communities grow horticultural crops to increase family income.

Through AHP, CITL supported the groups to alleviate the sufferings experienced by the communities during the Covid-19 time.

The Head of the Borala-A Horticulture Group, Raimundo da Costa from Borala hamlet, in Ossu de Cima Village of Ossu Administrative Post in Viqueque municipality, informed that his group received five hoes, five shovels, two watering cans, plastic tunnels, and liquid pesticide.

“We also received agricultural vegetable seeds, including the seeds of eggplant, tomato, water spinach, yardlong bean, peanut, carrot, etc,” Costa told reporters in Borala hamlet, Ossu de Cima village, Viqueque Municipality, on thursday.

Borala-A Horticulture Group has a total of 24 members, made up of 12 men and 12 women.

He said Borala-A has already harvested their horticultural crops two times: “We get US$62 from the first harvest and our second harvest was US$54.”

“We keep saving the money and we will decide whether to share the money or do something else next year. We know that donors and NGOs will no longer support us, and therefore we will use the money to buy seeds and other materials to keep producing our horticultural crops,” stressed Costa.

At the same place, the head of Borala hamlet, Artur Pinto called the government, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) to support and ensure the sustainability of the horticulture and aquaculture groups in his hamlet to increase the incomes of the communities to solve their families’ economic hardship.

“In this village, we have a total of 180 households, with a total of 650 people. The majority of the population in this village is engaged in farming and horticultural activities for their livelihoods. Through the support of NGOs, some communities in the village have engaged in aquaculture activities because we have enough water to produce fish. Thus, I would like to call on MoAF to support these groups to produce more horticulture crops etc,” Pinto said.

On the other hand, the Head of the Loke Dalan Horticulture Group, Domingos Henrique from Uatulawa Sub-Village, Ossorua Village, in Ossu Administrative Post, Viqueque municipality, pledged to continue the activities of growing the agricultural crops to increase the income of their families: “We would sell our horticultural crops at the local market.”

“We are delighted with the support given by the CITL. We can’t thank CITL enough for all the support,” he said.

In addition, CITL also distributed seeds storage and the seeds of corn, yardlong bean, and rice to more than 1000 households in the villages of Macadique, Aflocai, Luca, Uai-Mori Tula, Ahic and Uma Tolu in Viqueque municipality.

CITL also distributed the seeds of eggplant, tomato, water spinach, yardlong bean, peanut, carrot, etc to communities in the villages of Luka, Uai-Mori Tula, Loi Ulu, Afaloicai, Macadique, Ossu de Cima, Ossorua, Nahareka, Uma Tolu, and Ahic village.

Apart from the distribution of the seeds, CITL also carried out training to assist the communities with the installation of plastic tunnels for growing vegetables.

AHP NGOs operating in Timor-Leste are Oxfam Australia, Plan International Australia, World Vision Australia, and CARE Australia. Activities are being implemented with communities and local governments in the Oecusse, Covalima, Aileu, Lautem, Bobonaro, and Viqueque municipalities, as well as nationally.

The implementation of the AHP Covid-19 response in Timor-Leste began in june 2020 and was expected to conclude next month.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo

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