(Tetum) The Hon. Melissa Parke MP encouraged Timorese farmers to continue planting high-yielding varieties at a visit to a women’s seed production group in Liquica earlier this month.
As part of her three-day trip to Timor-Leste, the Australian Minister for International Development visited the MAF-SoL supported group “Haburas Agriculture” in Ulmera suco to see their maize and peanut harvests.
She encouraged the farmers to continue planting MAF-SoL varieties to produce more and better food for the Timorese people.
“So far 33,500 farmers have access to high yielding seed and we hope 65,000 Timorese farmers have access to the seed by 2015.”
“The Australian Government is proud to support the Seeds of Life program that is working with the Timor-Leste Government to improve food security and nutrition in rural communities,” she said.
“The Australian Government is proud to support the Seeds of Life program that is working with the Timor-Leste Government to improve food security and nutrition in rural communities”
The chief of the group, Francisca de Jesus Leite, said they were happy with results of the MAF-SoL varieties they planted.
“We planted 3 kg of Sele seed last year and produced an impressive 380kg harvest.
“We are happy because the Sele has high yield, and now we can also sell the seed,” she said.
“Last year we only kept the seed for food but we will continue to plant this variety.”
Speaking at the event, MAF Vice Minister Marcos da Crus said that the governments of Australia and Timor-Leste are working together to increase the production of agriculture.
“Our food production in the country is still limited, which is why we import some seed from other countries.
“Through the partnership with the SoL program we look forward to increasing seed production in the country and reducing imported seed,” he said.