World Bank, supports major long term Agriculture improvement project
Dili, November 16, 2016 – At least 16,500 farming families will be supported to increase agricultural productivity, reduce post-harvest loss and increase marketed production, under a $21 million project agreed to today by the Government of Timor-Leste and the World Bank.
The six-year, US$21m Sustainable Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project, Funded through the Global Agriculture and Food Security Trust Fund, aims to increase the productivity of smallholder agriculture in selected locations in Timor-Leste, including Lautem (Raumoco watershed), Ainaro/Covalima (Belulik watershed), Liquiça/Ermera/Bobonaro (Loes watershed), and Oecusse (Tono watershed)..
This project will support district and community planning; farmer group formation and training; agriculture and small-scale rural investments aimed to reduce post-harvest losses, improve small scale processing and nutrition, and maintain sustainable watersheds. The project will also support improving the planning and monitoring capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to increase the impacts of their programs and policies.
“We’re pleased to be supporting Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries to bring about a significant change in the efficiency and impact of agriculture programs to address the needs of farming communities across the country,” said Bolormaa Amgaabazar, the World Bank’s Country Representative for Timor-Leste.
“The program will deliver direct, tangible support to communities, improved productivity and food security, including the promotion of nutritious and climate-resilient crops. It will also promote community-level watershed planning, and provide opportunities for investments that support the aspirations of smallholder women and men farmers, and rural youth,” Ms Amgaabazar said.
Timor-Leste has made substantial agricultural progress since independence, but significant challenges remain. Staple food production is declining, with seasonal food insecurity and high rates of malnutrition impacting especially on mothers and children. Agricultural productivity can be improved with better management practices, particularly with respect to soil and water management. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and will coordinate with programs supported by development partners.
Since 2009, the World Bank has assisted the Government of Timor-Leste to rebuild national infrastructure, stabilize the economy and strengthen government institutions.
In 2016 we’re working to help improve service delivery especially in Health and Education, build climate resistant road infrastructure, support non-oil economic development, and improve the quality of government spending.