On August 2, 2018 the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Timor-Leste held an official launch ceremony to officially commence the Viqueque Sustainable Agro-Enterprise Farmers to Market (FarMar) Development Project funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade Aid Programme and ADRA New Zealand. The event was held at the district administration office in Viqueque. In attendance to help open the project were the District Administrator Sr. Gregorio Henriques, Ambassador of New Zealand to Timor-Leste Her Excellency Vicki Poole, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) Regional Director Sr. Fernando Soares, MAF Viqueque Director Sr. Carlos Pinto among many stakeholders including development partners and chefe sukos and agriculture extension agents from 15 sukos throughout Viqueque.
The FarMar project will run for 5 years and will work with 1500 farming households in 15 sukos throughout Viqueque, Ossu, and Lacluta Administrative Posts. The project goal is “to grow the rural economy of Viqueque through market-orientated agro-enterprise and improve food security in Timor-Leste.” The project aims to connect smallholder farmers to identified value chains; increase yields, sales and cash reserves; and improve overall family well-being. The project will initially focus on three primary products: ginger, coconut, and candle nut. Through project activities, it is expected that markets will be better supplied, value chains strengthened, food security increased, and trade deficits reduced.
ADRA staff will work in close coordination with MAF authorities and extension agents and other relevant government agencies throughout the project. ADRA is thankful for the support and participation of the Municipal Authorities, MAF at national and municipal level and the New Zealand Aid program.