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Simao (enumerator) interview one of the farmer in the field

Simao (enumerator) interviews one of the farmers in the field

(Tetum)Nearly one out of every two farmers growing foodcrops in Timor-Leste use one or more improved varieties. A survey of 700 farming households conducted earlier this year by the Seeds of Life program in 60 randomly selected sucos in the country’s 13 municipalities showed that 48% of the interviewed farmers were growing one or more varieties of improved maize, rice, peanut, cassava and/or sweet potato. This is a marked increase in the adoption of improved varieties compared to five years ago, when the adoption rate was 18%.


Sarina doing interviews

Sarina at TimorAg2016

During the last couple of months of Seeds of Life, Sarina Locke visited the Seeds of Life program. She is an rural journalist for the ABC (Australian Broadcast Corporation)  and reported on the many outcomes of Seeds of Life. During her visit to Timor Leste, she traveled through a lot of the country and spoke to farmers, researchers about the impact of new varieties, good storage of gain and savings and loans on their lives.

The radio and web story can be found here


Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva launching the seven new food crop varieties

Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva launching the seven new food crop varieties

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Engr. Estanislau Aleixo da Silva, launched 7 new varieties of 4 different food crops on 7 April 2016. This follows the recommendation of the Variety Approval, Release and Registration Committee to the Minister.



Rice fields being prepared in Uatulari with seedling beds
Photo: Benvindo Jose Ernesto

(Tetum)A 2 week period of low rainfall at the end of April may mark the end of the wet season for many areas in Timor-Leste. For areas along the south coast it can be normal to have a short period of low rainfall before the second round of rains allow the possibility of a second crop. For those rice fields that are struggling to get enough water from irrigation systems, this period of low rain may prove to be very critical. Rice crops in the Maliana basin that are flowering are especially at risk. (more…)