Oe-cusse: Work with farmers to innovate allows an increase of 136% in rice production
A new rice production system based on the Jajar Legowo System (JLS) is being implemented and monitored by the ZEESM – TL Agriculture Office in association with the UNDP.
Oé-Cusse, November 30, 2018
With the aim of increasing the productivity of local rice fields, this new system is designed to support local farmers in the transition from self-subsistence production to a production that, in quantity and quality, enables market entry and competition with imported brands, with the consequent increase of income of the households of these East Timorese farmers and thus a substantial improvement in their quality of life.
The project contemplates monitoring the soils and conducting tests that determine the best practices in each field: the best seeds; the ideal amount of seeds to be planted; the right fertilizers; the most adequate distribution in the soil, to better take advantage of the sun exposure; and even the most effective method of harvesting.
In a first phase, the project started with two farmers, who have more than doubled their rice production, in addition to significant improvements in product quality.
Now the results of this pilot project will begin to be shared, in a second phase that will continue to accompany the first two farmers and another ten who joined the project. Thus, from January 2019 and during the next three years, the project will continue to be implemented and monitored, in a field work as well as research, which will count on the collaboration of the ETARO school, to include the students of today and tomorrow’s farmers in this process, to support the development of skills and capabilities that they will put at the service of the Region and the Country in the future.
The objective of this action is to sensitize farmers to the agribusiness, supporting them in the construction of business plans and the acquisition of basic concepts of investment, profitability of resources and sharing of means of production, such as harvesting machines, by supporting the constitution of producer cooperatives.
It is noted that about 80% of the population of Oé-Cusse has agriculture as their main occupation, but less than 1% of the production is put on the market, being mainly for self-subsistence.