The largest harvest of maize in the Aileu district has begun with six Community Seed Production Groups in Remexio sub-district of Aileu harvesting eight hectares of maize planted in December last year.
To celebrate the harvest time the groups invited the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Mariano Assanami Sabino, to a maize harvesting ceremony at Suco Asumau last Monday.
“Maize production this year is more than last year because we have expanded the field to eight hectares. We believe the harvest will be good quality,” said Belarmino da Costa, one of the groups’ chiefs.
The CSPGs planted Sele seed from the harvest of the first crop from certified Sele seed that MAF-SoL provided in 2011. Each group was given 5 kg of seed to plant on their 2000 m2 plots.
“It’s positive that the community already has sufficient seed to plant and have no need to depend on seed from MAF or another country”
MAF-SoL Community Seed National Coordinator, Rui Pereira, said the groups used seed harvested from the 2011 seed production plot to replant again last year.
“It’s positive that the community already has sufficient seed to plant and have no need to depend on seed from MAF or another country,” he said.
Minister Sabino highlighted the importance of the fact that after harvest the seed produced by the groups will be shared with friends and family of the CSPG members.
“The community has helped the government on food security, because before we ensure food security we have to ensure seed security, so seed can be available all over the country and we don’t rely on other countries to grow our food.”
Minister Sabino also handed over airtight seed storage drums, maize shellers, tarpaulins and other tools to the representative groups to support their work.
The ceremony was attended by various MAF Department Chiefs in Aileu, the Commander of PNTL for the Aileu district, local authorities, CSPG members and the community of Suco Asumau.