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2022: MAF intends to harvest 38,000 hectares of rice fields

2022: MAF intends to harvest 38,000 hectares of rice fields

Atabae rice field (image/António Gonçalves)

DILI, 12 march 2022 (TATOLI)— In this year 2022, MAF will harvest 38,000 hectares of rice fields in municipalities, reported General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), Maria Odete do Céu.

“According to our target, this year we intend to harvest 38 thousand hectares of rice fields or the equivalent of 82 thousand tons of rice. We hope MAF can meet the target that has been calculated”, Director-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), Maria Odete do Céu told reporters at the Minister of Finance office, in Aitarak laran, this friday.

She added the government is targeting this quantity of 82 thousand in 2022. MAF is concerned that the irrigation and water system has been damaged by floods which will have an impact on the process of rice cultivation.

“The crucial issues are focused on the water system and drainage to supply water to the water fields. The water supply system was damaged due to torrential rain due to climate change,” She said.

She highlighted, it is required for budget allocation to ensure the drainage system infrastructure can be rehabilitated. It is a big contribution to ensure the MAF can achieve the target of crop harvesting.

“We will do the first stage of harvesting in all municipalities, except in Viqueque municipality. MAF is mostly given the second priority for the south coast region,” she concluded.

MAF has produced 72,000 tons of local rice and crops were harvested in 80,000 rice fields in Maliana, Bobonaro and Viqueque municipalities.

It is known that Timor-Leste consumption of rice reached 137.800 tons every year for 1.3 million of the population.  MAP should provide more than 60.000 tons of rice in response to national rice consumption.

Ms. Gutteres stressed that the government strategy plan is contributing to reducing the import of rice in the country. MAP believes that TL is able to reduce the import of rice to 20.000 tons every year.

Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Rafy Belo

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