BUSINESS, NATIONAL, DILI

TOMAK and CRS identify seed storage technology does not meet the needs

TOMAK and CRS identify seed storage technology does not meet the needs

DILI, 12 october 2022 (TATOLI)- Farming for Prosperity (TOMAK) and Catholic Relief Service (CRS) provide a report that proved over 30% of farmers in the six municipalities do not use seed storage technology as needed.

CRS’s Agriculture Program Manager, Agostinho da Costa Ximenes said the identification was made through research conducted by the CRS in six municipalities including Baucau, Lautem, Manatuto, Ainaro, Bobonaro, and Manufahi, adding that the research involved 609 farmers.

“They know how to store seeds because it has been a tradition from the past 91% but for every use of storage technology only 30% of them understand the mechanism while the rest are not,” explained Ximenes at the office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), this Wednesday.

In Timor-Leste, seed system insecurity is one of the underlying factors in food insecurity, with 36% of the country’s population currently experiencing chronic food insecurity and 15% experiencing severe chronic food insecurity.

More than 80% of Timor-Leste’s population depends on the agricultural sector for their livelihoods, mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture. Corn, rice, and beans are some of the main crops grown by Timorese farmers.

Mr. Ximenes said that production and yields are severely constrained by various environmental factors and farmers face high post-harvest losses, with average annual maize losses estimated at around 30%, due to poor post-harvest handling and ineffective storage practices.

The report mentions the minimal use of seed storage technology such as jerry cans (18%), silos (30%), steel drums (28%), plastic drums (11%), jumbo sacks (23%), and sugar sacks (17%).

“In addition to the availability, access, and utilization of food, stability is one of the four pillars of food security,” he said.

MAP’s General Director of Institutional Development Cooperation, César José da Cruz admitted that this was because many farmers who had received seed storage technology facilities were not used as needed.

“Actually they understand how to use the seed storage because we have provided them the information about the use of seed storage when the seed storage was distributed to them, but as we know the quantity of local production also sometimes decreases and they use all the facilities for other needs,” he explained.

César José da Cruz appreciated the initiative of CRS and TOMAK for supporting the Government through MAP to be able to identify the matter as a reference to implement the program.

 

Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Nelia B.

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