Monday, 8 May 2017

A new ACIAR crop project has begun in Timor-Leste

Our new crop project has been launched in Timor-Leste.

The project is known as Al-Com with the official title being ‘Agricultural innovations for communities for intensified and sustainable farming systems in Timor-Leste’


Australian team and local partners inspect a new 
sandalwood plantation


‘This project will benefit communities in Timor-Leste by offering farmers options to intensify their production and link to markets so that they can increase their income,’ said Dr Eric Huttner, ACIAR’s crop systems research manager.

ACIAR's Dr Eric Huttner inspecting vegetables at local market


The early stages of the project will focus on economic analysis and community land use planning. Further exploration will involve intensification of the farming systems in midland irrigable basins and the South Coast.


Rice growing rotated with pulses increases yields


A range of agronomic innovations, with and without small scale irrigation, will be tested essentially on farmers' fields. Agroforestry activities will focus on legume trees for feeding livestock and as host for sandalwood, with a component on sandalwood seedling production.

Two sandalwood researchers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Timor Leste bring significant technical expertise to this activity. Work will begin at the first sites quickly in order to learn by doing. Lessons learned in this early work will then be applied to the selection of further sites.


The team meets a local farmer and project collaborator

The Al-Com project was officially launched by Timor Leste Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) Secretary General Cesar Da Cruz, and Mr Dan Wood, first councillor for Aid at the Australian embassy.

ACIAR project page -  http://aciar.gov.au/project/cim/2014/082

Images by ACIAR's Dr Evan Cristian

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