BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor    home | themes | reconstruction | search

BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Agriculture and Reconstruction
Agrikultura, reabilitasaun i dezenvolvimentu
Agricultura, reabilitação e desenvolvimento
Pembangunan Kembali:

A collection of items about rebuilding the agricultural sector following the massive violence and destruction of infrastructure committed by militia groups trained and supported by the Indonesian army.


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Up-Dated: Jan 29, 2002

NEW = Added to BACK DOOR Website since last Monday's Emailout


Main Contents: BD: Reconstruction and 'Aid & Development' 

Aug 16 Caritas Australia programs 2000 - 2001 - Emergency Relief  Report added Aug 19
"Since Oecussi was not secured by Interfet until late October 1999, the people of the region did not return until late into the planting season to plant their crops. This means that less was planted and that less was harvested in 2000. Oecussi, therefore has been at a greater disadvantage in terms of having enough food than the rest of the country. ... Caritas Australia has also assisted the people of Oecussi with agriculture through supplying tools and seeds for planting to contribute to their future food security. This enabled communities to replant crops that were destroyed by the militia." Caritas

Aug 1 STL: Coffee Prices Fall Sharply, Timor Lorosae Farmers Protest  News from ETimor added Aug 2
“Every week the price falls sharply on the American market in New York. The price fluctuations affect us badly in Timor Lorosae because our coffee is sold on the American market,” Sisto Moniz Piedade, the Operational Director of Cooperative Café Timor (CCT) in Lecidere, Dili.
" ... a kilogram of Timor coffee was sold at Aus$30 in Australia and 100 grams of the same coffee fetched US$1 in Portugal. So I’m really baffled on why we are getting so low prices locally?” Mario Viegas Carrascalao, Leader of the Social Democrat Party (PSD)

Jun 29 FRETILIN Italia: Open letter to FRETILIN  Letter added June 30
"First of all we have to do an agricultural reform, that distributes the land between the little growers, that supports cooperative production, that builds a credit system rooted in the territory. We haven’t to forget that our social structure is mostly based on family units who live working in little plots of land. We have to turn our attention to them. We can reach the aim of food self-sufficiency in a short time, if we give our people the cultural and technical means to exploit their own traditional competence." David Dias Quintas Corona, FRETILIN rep in Italy

Jun 13 ET NGO: Donors’ Conference: Agriculture  Paper added June 15
"Efforts to reconstruct East Timor from ruins, including rebuilding the agriculture sector, are being made by UNTAET, ETTA, and national and international NGOs, together with donor countries and donor institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank. However, due to limited human and natural resources and some ineffective management systems, these efforts have not yet yielded significant results. This is very disturbing, because a failure to address the pressing needs of the agricultural sector could eventually lead to social and economic instability and increased environmental fragility." Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e / The East Timor National NGO Forum

Jun 7 ETNGO Forum: Donors Meeting must be for Rural People  Release added June 14
“It is crucial that those attending this meeting do not merely discuss the political and administrative transition, but also consider how rural communities can benefit from donor grants,” Arsenio Bano, Executive Director, ET NGO Forum

May 28 AidWatch: Letter to World Bank  Letter added June 9
"At the seminar you [Mr Klaus Rohland] explained World Bank reasons for vetoing the public grain silo. ... However you did not address the main point of my question, which was: how was this ‘vetoing’ of funds, given for the people of East Timor by the donor countries, consistent with the human right of self-determination of a people (Article One of both the Covenants of the International Bill of Rights)?"  Tim Anderson, researcher, AID/WATCH: Monitoring the Development Dollar

May 25 GLW: World Bank dictates development  Article added June 9
"There is a common perception that the World Bank is a subsidiary or support group for the UN, which is not the case. ... The World Bank is indirectly at the moment - and I think with stronger pressure in the future - pushing the East Timorese into developing cash crops for export, in particular, organic coffee. This will create pressure on old traditional title and [lead to] the resolution of land disputes in favour of large landholders [who seek] to consolidate and create cash-cropping areas, which also poses the threat of environmental degradation." Tim Anderson, researcher, AID/WATCH: Monitoring the Development Dollar

Dec 19 2000 SMH: Hard Grind - Weak coffee prices add to fledgling nation's woes  Added Dec 20
"Income from East Timor's coffee harvest - on which a quarter of the population depends for its basic income - has fallen by up to 35 per cent because of glut on the world market, placing further pressure on the country's devastated economy." Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili

Dec 18 2000 CAAT:  Re-build ET coffee economy - Buy Fair Trade Coffee!  Added Dec 23
Upon reading about the recent devastating crash in income from East Timor's coffee harvest BACK DOOR did an extensive web-search for ways that we could respond. And guess what? In several capital cities in Australia there are retail outlets that sell East Timorese coffee at much fairer prices. Buying this fair trade coffee will help to re-build the coffee economy. This coffee can also be purchased on-line!

Portuguese:
Set 14 2000 OTL: Agricultura, reabilitação e desenvolvimento  Report added May 17
"Apesar de todos os condicionamentos resultantes da destruição de Setembro de 1999, quando os indonésios se retiraram de Timor-Leste, a actividade agrícola, a que mais depende dos próprios timorenses, é a que dá os maiores sinais de recuperação: em seis meses, a produção de cereais voltou a 75% do nível anterior e a do café aos 100%. ... A diversificação é a melhor protecção contra a insegurança alimentar da população, mas não parece preocupar os intervenientes externos que apostam no café." Observatório Timor Leste

Sep 14 2000 ETO: Agriculture, rehabilitation and development  Report added May 17
"In spite of all the setbacks caused by the destruction last September [1999], when the Indonesians withdrew from East Timor, agriculture is the activity that depends most on the Timorese themselves and is also the area that is now showing the clearest signs of recovery ... The people’s best protection against food insecurity lies in diversification," East Timor Observatory


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