A conference where factors affecting crop production in Timor-Leste and the success technical advances have made to improving productivity since independence were discussed and recommendations for further development have been made.
Xisto Martin the Executive Director of RAEBIA gave a presentation on "Germplasm collection and conservation" and our Arquimedes Key Bernat Plewe our Intern from Southern Cross University presented a poster on "Community Gardens for Timor-Leste" at the conference.
Timor-Leste is largely an agrarian society and agriculture, accounting for one-third of the gross domestic product, is the primary contributor to non-oil GDP. Approximately 64 % of the population is engaged in agricultural activities with a majority relying exclusively on low input/output subsistence farming.
Broad-based economic growth – inclusive of agriculture - is essential to ensure sustainable reductions to the current high rates of poverty, particularly in the rural areas. The Government of T-L has recognised the need for this in its national Strategic Development Plan and, in a number of cases, has enlisted collaboration with bilateral, and multilateral development projects, NGOs and other parts of civil society to reach its goal of self sustainability of food products by 2030. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) enters its 14th year of operation in 2016 and has been engaged in an
increasing number of research, seed production and extension activities over that period.