USDA Officers Visited Timor-Leste
August 2, 2016
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Visit: USDA officers visited Timor-Leste August 2-9 to monitor the $6.2 million project that is increasing farming and creating value chains for high-value crops in four districts of the country. Joined by Political and Economic Chief Lucy Gillers, the group traveled to Lautem, the country’s easternmost district, and spoke with more than 15 beneficiary farmers, including four who run nurseries under the project, caring for seedlings until they are ready to be distributed to other farmers. The crops being grown include cassava, moringa, cloves, coffee, vanilla, and pepper. On the final morning of the field visit, the project’s extension agents, who are local graduates of the agricultural schools in the districts, had a group discussion about challenges, their experience on the project, and the easiest (cassava) and most difficult (vanilla) plants for uptake by farmers.