The maps were created by Seeds of Life, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ mapping unit and the United Nations Population Fund, and are free for the public to use, print and distribute.
A range of national, district, sub-district and suco maps are available including:
- aerial photo maps
- soil maps
- general maps
- population maps
- land use maps
- current and future rainfall and temperature maps
- watershed maps
- contour maps
Cropping Systems Advisor Samuel Bacon says MAF-SoL is keen to share the maps because a lot of projects require maps and map information for their documents.
“We want to provide a good range of quality maps that can easily be accessed whenever they are needed.
“There is so much great information floating around the government and non-government community that we wanted to make it available to other organisations,” he said.
Understand cropping cycles with MAF-SoL’s agricultural calendars
Another free resource on the website is MAF-SoL’s agricultural calendars.
These show the traditional cropping seasons and farming tasks of the Timorese in different areas around Timor-Leste.
The calendars include local impressions of climate, planting, harvest and traditional practices around agriculture.
There are 32 village-based calendars and 26 commodity-based calendars (per district) available in English.
Samuel says the calendars were created in 2007 as a tool for extensionists, other field workers and for general dissemination of agriculture information.
“They are a great resource that give insight into the farmer’s cropping cycle.
“Anybody working in the area of agriculture in Timor-Leste should take the time to view these calendars and plan their project cycle to match what is happening in the farming community,” he said.
Access a wealth of climate data
Seeds of Life encourages others to use its climate data, which is the only online source of meteorological data in Timor Leste.
MAF- SoL collects and publishes data on rain, temperature, radiation, humidity and wind speed every 10 minutes at 20 sites, and daily rainfall data from 17 sites. This requires handling over five million climate data points annually.
Historical monthly rainfall data dates back to 1914 and covers over 60 sites.
MAF-SoL also collaborate with three different government departments that collect weather data – National Directorate of Meteorology and Geophysics (DNMG), Agriculture, Land use and Graphic Information Systems (ALGIS), and National Directorate of Water Quality and Control (DNCQA).
MAF-SoL is committed to collecting data for agricultural research
Seeds of Life continues to collaborate with a number of government and non-government organisations to collect data for agricultural research, as well as make it available to others.
MAF-SoL Cropping System Advisors Samuel Bacon says “this is vitally important in an environment where projects are short term and there is a high turnover of foreign personnel.”
“Seeds of Life is a well-recognised source of reliable and detailed information, which others can use for more effective project design,” he said.