Community Seed Production Groups in the Lospalos sub-district supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Seeds of Life, harvested their first Sele variety maize seed crop of the season last Friday.
The Vice-Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Marcos da Cruz, marked the opening of the harvest by collecting the maize in Suco Fuiloro.
Chief of the group, Adaun Lopes, said that this was the first time his CSPG had planted the Sele maize that was provided by MAF-SoL late last year.
“The Sele is a good quality seed. The result was much more than previous maize varieties that we’ve planted,” he said.
During the start of the harvest ceremony the Vice-Minister highlighted the importance of local community seed production in reducing Timor-Leste’s dependence on other countries for seed.
“The Sele is a good quality seed. The result was much more than previous maize varieties that we’ve planted,”
“We buy seeds from other countries every year,” he said. “To reduce this MAF is dedicated to supporting the community to improve and expand seed production in the country”
Working towards seed security in Timor-Leste, SoL has distributed Sele seed to 320 community seed production groups across the country that will produce at least 45 ton of Sele seed in total.
“This is great production and it’s sufficient for each farmer group member as well as 15-20 other farming families in their local community,” said Buddhi Kunwar, Community Seed Advisor for Seeds of Life.
After the harvest, Lopes’ group plans to share produce between group members and their families and to sell surplus stock within the community.
The ceremony was attended by the Secretaries of State for Public Works, Art and Culture, Electricity, Water Sanitation and Urbanization, MAF staff, local authorities, CSPG members and the community of Suco Fuiloro.