BUSINESS, MANATUTO

Bolstering Agricultural Production: JICA visits Buluto irrigation system in Manatuto

Bolstering Agricultural Production: JICA visits Buluto irrigation system in Manatuto

Innauguration of the Completion of the Rehabilitation of Boluto Irrigation, in Manatuto Municipality/october 30, 2023/Image Tatoli

DILI, 22 february 2024 (TATOLI) – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) visited the Buluto Irrigation System, in the municipality of Manatuto, which was renovated in october last year

The aim of the visit is to assess how the irrigation system is used for the cultivation of rice and other crops after the inauguration of the irrigation.

JICA’s Senior Program Officer, Armando Amaral da Cruz said: “We want to see the utilization of the irrigation for the crops cultivation, including rice, corn etc.”

The Buluto Irrigation supplies water for rice cultivation in the Laleia Administrative Post of Manatuto Municipality and the Vemasse Administrative Post of Baucau Municipality. The irrigation provides water for the cultivation of more than 780 hectares of rice fields, stretching from Laleia to Vemasse.

Buluto Irrigation located in Laleia Administrative Post, Manatuto Municipality was previously rehabilitated in 2017 with a total budget of approximately US$13 million supported by the Japanese government. The inauguration of the irrigation system is part of the Japanese government’s commitment to support Timor-Leste’s policy to reduce imported rice.

Irrigation has enabled local farmers to increase the production of local crops, including rice, maize, and other seasonal crops.

According to the Agriculture Ministry’s technical officer, Martinho Ximenes, Boluto’s irrigation is currently working very well: “This irrigation requires intensive control to ensure a continuous supply of water to farmers so that they are able to keep growing their crops all year round.”

Raimundo De Sousa, a local rice farmer, thanked JICA for rehabilitating the irrigation system, saying that he can now cultivate more land, allowing him to increase his family income.

“By cultivating the five hectares of my paddy fields, I can now produce more than six tons of rice a year. Last year, I earned more than US$2,000 from selling my rice to ASELDA,” he said.

“I collected over US$.2.000  in 2023, after selling my rice to the ASELDA, a local company in Baucau,” he said

In 2023, the Buluto Irrigation supported the production of more than 2,200 tons of rice in Manatuto.

 

Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Filomeno Martins

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