EU-German Ai ba Futuru project held fourth Steering Committee Meeting

EU-German Ai ba Futuru project held fourth Steering Committee Meeting


DILI, 04 june 2022 (TATOLI) – “Ai ba Futuru” – Partnership for Sustainable Agroforestry (PSAF), a project co-financed by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), conducted its fourth Steering Committee Meeting.

In the presence of Pedro dos Reis, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Andrew Jacobs, Ambassador of the European Union to Timor-Leste, Domingos Lopes Antunes, Vice Minister of Commerce and Industry, and other participants, Ai ba Futuru highlighted activities and achievements from the last year and presented the remaining major activities until the end of the project in november 2022.

The Steering Committee Meeting brought together various stakeholders involved in the project and provided strategic guidance and decision-making on the overall direction of the remaining implementation activities.

The five-year project supports over 5.800 beneficiary households in 40 villages in the four eastern municipalities of Manatuto, Baucau, Viqueque, and Lautem.

Ai ba Futuru distributed tree seedlings to rural farmers and supported capacity building on the local regional and national levels as well as promoting the development of agricultural value chains.

Furthermore, the project improves the framework conditions for agroforestry in the country. This promotes employment opportunities and improved market access, thus generating higher income in rural areas.

“Success or failure of the project does not come only from the performance of GIZ and external factors. Beneficiaries, Government, and the European Union are also part of the project. The way the Government and the European Union have supported the project must be considered. How the Government will mobilize resources after the project, may impact on sustainability. How the EU will flexibly accept readjustment before the end of the project, can improve the likelihood of sustainability. Real commitment from the beneficiaries to pursue activities is also an important factor to take into account.” said Andrew Jacobs, Ambassador of the European Union to Timor-Leste.

At the same place, Rainer Schellhaas, country coordinator of GIZ Timor-Leste said that: “I am very content and proud of what Ai ba Futuru has achieved since the project began. Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic the project team, jointly with the partner ministry MAF, the European Union, and the BMZ, has managed to continue implementing its activities in a very professional way.”

“We even surpassed our objectives in several areas. I am particularly happy to see that the topic of sustainable agroforestry has become very popular over the recent years, with our partners and other development actors, but also in the public and in our project areas. In the remaining months of project implementation until November 2022, Ai ba Futuru will focus on consolidating its activities, fostering the sustainability of the measures, and preparing a thorough handover to the partner ministry MAF and other development partners that have signaled strong interest to build on the achievements of the project.” said Rainer Schellhaas, country coordinator of GIZ Timor-Leste.”

For the past two years, Ai ba Futuru organised “Agroforestry Trade Fairs” to foster exchange among stakeholders like producers, traders, business associations, policymakers, NGOs, and international agencies. Numerous exhibitors showcased their products related to the agroforestry value chains, including producers, cooperatives, financial suppliers, government services, and input suppliers.

The participants benefited from increases in production, better employment opportunities, and improved market access, thus generating higher income. These and other achievements were part of the exchange during the Steering Committee Meeting.

Since it began Ai ba Futuru has:
Distributed over 3.8 million tree seedlings to farmers in rural areas
Set-up 47 community nurseries that produce over 10,000 seedlings each annually, generating 260 jobs,

Enabled over 5,800 farmers to increase production and to earn higher incomes.
Trained over 4,000 farmers, MAF staff, village authorities and NGO employees.
Supported the development of value chains and market linkages by establishing among others four new bamboo pre-processing centres and nurseries, promote food processing and the production of organic and certified fair-trade coffee, training on safe and efficient tree felling and chainsaw/sawmill operations, or capacity building in financial literacy and agribusiness combined with business start-up support.


Journalist: Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Nelia Borges


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