(Tetun) Timor-Leste has established its first national association of commercial seed producers (CSP) and elected a four-member executive committee during the general assembly of CSP held in mid-March.

The National Association of Commercial Seed Producers (Asosiasaun Nasional Produtor Fini Komersial or ‚ÄúANaProFiKo‚ÄĚ) is the umbrella organization that will safeguard the rights and interests of the 58 CSP currently registered to produce commercial seed in Timor-Leste.

In his speech during the opening ceremony of the assembly, Eng. Estanislao Aleixo da Silva, the new Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, welcomed the establishment of ANaProFiKo.

Minister Estanislau emphasized the importance of producing quality seed In his speech during the assembly © Yessy Betty/Seeds of Life

Minister Estanislau emphasized the importance of producing quality seed In his speech during the assembly © Yessy Betty/Seeds of Life

‚ÄúI‚Äôm very happy and I congratulate all of you for this initiative to form the national association of CSP because it is important to protect and defend farmers‚Äô right and interest.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúWe do need this national association so we can stop the importation of seed. The government is fully supportive of the association and will prioritize its purchase of seed from the local producers.‚ÄĚ

The Minister also emphasized the importance of producing quality seed.

‚ÄúGood quality seed is very important. Good seed means good production. ¬†It is good to purchase and good for the nation. ¬†When we have sufficient good quality seed there is a possibility we can export seed in the future,‚ÄĚ he said.

‚ÄúWe do need this national association so we can stop the importation of seed. The government is fully supportive of the association and will prioritize its purchase of seed from the local producers.‚ÄĚ

ANaProFiKo will provide advice on a range of seed-related issues and will continue to strongly support the implementation of the T-L National Seed Policy (NSP) and the national seed system established by MAF-SoL and collaborating stakeholders.

The assembly elected one representative from each the 12 municipalities (except Oecusse) to serve as the Executive Board of ANaProFiKo and a 4-member Executive Committee consisting of president, vice president, secretary and treasurer to lead and implement activities of the national association.

Representatives from 58 CSPs participated the general assembly © Yessy Betty/Seeds of Life

Representatives 58 CSPs from all municipals participated the general assembly © Yessy Betty/Seeds of Life

Joanico Jose Ximenes, the elected president, said that the Executive Committee will work hard to ensure achievement of the general objectives of ANaProFiKo.

“We are committed to hear farmers’ voices, serve their interests and ensure that CSP produce good quality seed of the improved varieties released by MAF to meet the national seed demand.

‚ÄúWe will also ensure that our activities contribute to the National Seed Policy, National Seed System and each Municipal Seed System.‚ÄĚ