Around 800 hectares of paddy fields abandoned in Manatutu municipality

Around 800 hectares of paddy fields abandoned in Manatutu municipality

Image TATOLI/Jose Belarmino de Sa

DILI, 22 february 2024 (TATOLI) – The director of the Manatuto Municipal Agriculture Office, José Soares, said that more than 800 hectares of paddy fields in the municipality of Manatuto have been abandoned since torrential rains hit the country on 4 april, 2021.  

“These 800 hectares were damaged during the flash floods between 4 and 5 April, 2021, as a result of torrential rain. These paddy fields are now abandoned. We have 620 hectares damaged in Manatuto and another 180 hectares in other administrative posts, including Laclo, Natarbora, Laleia, and Kairui,” Director Soares told TATOLI.

He said that the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, will improve the irrigation system to provide water to utilize the abandoned land for rice cultivation.

“So far, we have cultivated more than 208 hectares of the abandoned land. We are planning to utilize more of these paddy fields for rice cultivation,” added Soares.

In order to cultivate more the abandoned land, the Ministry of Agriculture has provided three tractors to support the rice farmers cultivating the paddy fields.

“We need more tractors and other equipment to help farmers grow more rice in Manatuto,” he said.

Nazário de Araújo Freitas, Agriculturalist at the Manatuto Municipal Agricultural Office urged the Agriculture Ministry and JICA to support local farmers with agricultural equipment to increase rice production.

Last year, JICA, together with the government of Timor-Leste, inaugurated the Boluto irrigation in the municipality of Manatuto to provide water for more than 100 rice farmers to grow rice and other crops.


Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Filomeno Martins


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