(Tetum) Seeds of Life (SoL) research showing that the cereal production per person in Timor-Leste was much lower in Portuguese times, than now. In Portuguese era, average cereal production was only 38 kg/person per year, but now its approximately 122kg/person/year.

The result of the production quantity of cereal food (person/kg/year) and average yield was showed in the following table:

  Period   Average (person/year)
  Portugues (1961-1975) 38 kg
  Indonesia (1976-1999) 107 kg
  After independence (2000-2014) 122 kg

This research is focused on individual cereal production quantity such as maize and rice in Timor-Leste annually in Portuguese time, Indonesia occupation and after independence.

The research is conducted by Abril Fatima Lemos Soares, MAF-SoL National Coordinator of OFDT (on-farm demonstration and trial) and Rob Williams, MAF-SoL Research Advisor. The original data is obtained based on Faostat3.fao.org website.

‚ÄúThe data was collected base on the cereal data in Timor-Leste from 1961-2014 which is available in website Faostat3.fao.org. The data was then transferred into Excel spread sheet for calculation,‚ÄĚ said Abril.

‚ÄúAnnual cereal production per person in Timor-Leste only achieves 59% compared to the average world consumption of cereals‚ÄĚ

Abril F√°tima stated that this research was very important and helps to understand about the production quantity of cereal food in previous years compared to present time.

‚ÄúOnce we know the information about the production quantity in previous years it will help us to work hard and increase cereal production in the future.‚ÄĚ

Sele maize production by community seed group in Fatumaca, Baucau © Yessy Betty/Seeds of Life

Sele maize production by a community group in Fatumaca, Baucau © Yessy Betty/Seeds of Life

Base on data from Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) average of food production in the world per person is 206 kg/year. Thus, the result shows that that the annual cereal production per person in Timor-Leste only achieves 59% compared to the average world consumption of cereals.

The research suggests that Timor-Leste need to expand maize and rice field and also develop the knowledge of Timorese farmer related to improved technology in increasing yield in the future.