Good morning and welcome honored guests to the Avansa Agrikultura Project’s “Farmer Field Day.”
I am pleased to be here with you to celebrate the third time that this event has been held in Timor-Leste. It is a remarkable opportunity for Timorese farmers to connect with input suppliers to learn about new practices and technologies.
We know that achieving food security in Timor-Leste requires informed farmers being able to produce nutrient-rich food year round. However, getting these inputs is a challenge due to the small number of lojas in your municipality. Some of you have to go to Dili to buy seeds, fertilizers, and equipment.
USAID’s Avansa Project seeks to change this reality. Farmer Field Day allows you to access the inputs you need now and learn how to apply the products correctly. We hope to go beyond this and find ways for lojas to have a continual supply of products. This means you will spend less time and money traveling to Dili.
Avansa is connecting large suppliers in Dili with lojas across Aileu, Ainaro, Bobonaro and Ermera to bring the materials you need closer to you. There are many interactive displays at Farmer Field Day. I’m really excited about the Ideal Farm Plot, where you can see how different technologies work.
I invite you to visit the plot, ask questions, and see what you can use on your own farms. Talk to our staff about how these technologies can help you increase your yields and incomes. Our new technologies allow you to grow in both the dry and rainy seasons to increase your incomes even more. A lot of food is imported into the country, but most crops can be grown in Timor-Leste using good agricultural practices.
When Timorese crops grow, Timor-Leste grows. We’ve already seen some results, but much remains to be done. That begins with each and every one of you here today. On behalf of the United States, I would like to thank you all for your commitment to this project and to the development of Timor-Leste.