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The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Engr. Estanislau Aleixo da Silva, launched 7 new varieties of 4 different food crops on 7 April 2016. This follows the recommendation of the Variety Approval, Release and Registration Committee to the Minister.


Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva launching the seven new food crop varieties.

All the varieties have been released with new Timorese names. The two mung bean varieties, Lakateu-AV and Kiukae-AV, have been named after Timorese birds, and two of the varieties have been named after  research locations, Darasula-CIP (sweet potato) and Ululefa-RW(kidney bean) while another kidney bean variety, Fleixa-RW, has been named after a major bean producing area.

The local language of Makasa’e is used to name the new purple sweet potato variety. The name Sia-TL is based on the Makasa’e word for sweet potato (SIA) and the TL shows the source of the seed was from Timor Leste.

The 7 new varieties add colour and wider choice to farmers in Timor-Leste. The varieties include 2 sweet potato, 2 mung beans, 2 kidney beans (climbing type) and one rice variety.  The 2 sweet potato varieties are very colourful. Darasula-CIP has a rich orange flesh and Sia-TL has deep purple flesh. Both varieties have great taste, with the orange variety crumbles nicely as it is eaten, making it perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

All of the recommended varieties have gone through extensive testing on research stations for more than 5 years and have been grown with many farmers for 2 years or more.

They were assessed against a broad number of criteria, not only for superior yield and agronomic adaptability but also for their social, environment and gender impacts. The review and approval of the Committee is the 3rd step in the process of crop identification and development which is one of the main components of the National Seed System for Released Varieties. Through this rigorous process, farmers are ensured of varieties with superior quality and suited to growing conditions in Timor-Leste.


Rice fields being prepared in Uatulari with seedling beds
Photo: Benvindo Jose Ernesto

(Tetum)A 2 week period of low rainfall at the end of April may mark the end of the wet season for many areas in Timor-Leste. For areas along the south coast it can be normal to have a short period of low rainfall before the second round of rains allow the possibility of a second crop. For those rice fields that are struggling to get enough water from irrigation systems, this period of low rain may prove to be very critical. Rice crops in the Maliana basin that are flowering are especially at risk. (more…)


Maize in Liquica mountains harvested and drying. Photo: Samuel Bacon, SoL

Maize in Liquica mountains harvested and drying. Photo: Samuel Bacon, SoL

(Tetum)The rain continues to fall across the country although it is declining in a number of places such as Baucau, Covalima and Liquica. Other areas such as in Betano and Viqueque along the south coast received good rainfall.

It looks like the end of the wet season now especially for north coast locations such as Oecusse and Atauro which received very little rain again.

Many farmers have harvested their corn or are about to harvest it. Some good rains were received along the south coast during the first half of May and this may trigger some more planting of maize. Rice planting continues across many areas in Timor-Leste.

El Nino Crop Situation Report 20160415

First prize winner © Rob Williams- Seeds of Life

(Tetum)One of the channels used to showcase the progress of agriculture development in Timor-Leste during the TimorAg2016 conference held in Hotel Novo Turismo from April 13 to 14 was through the presentation of displays from each Municipal Seed Team to illustrate their Municipal Seed System. Everyone who viewed the displays was awed and inspired by the way each municipal team rose to the challenge! (more…)