Educational cross visit by spice crop farmers from Oé-Cusse to Ermera and Aileu

Educational visit for spice crops cultivation

July 30, 2023

The spice farmers were enthusiastic with various nurseries in Quinta Portugal-Aileu

UNDP Timor-Leste/ SAR – ZEESM TL

Oé-cusse, Timor-Leste 


Farmers, government extension officers, BIFANO staff, and the UNDP team participated in a two-day educational cross-visit from the 18th to 19th of July 2023 in the municipalities of Ermera and Aileu. 


The visit was carried out as a part of the project implemented in Oé-Cusse to introduce the spice value chain in identified locations, Nun-Ana, Kutete, Nefomtasa, and Oefeco with 104 farmers. In this project, selected farmers are introduced to the cultivation of spice crops such as Vanilla, clove, pepper, and cinnamon on a small scale. Each farmer is issued 100 – 150 spice plants, a combination of two or three spice crops to be planted in their garden. Farmers are trained in soil conservation and agronomic practices to cultivate these spices in their gardens. BIFANO, a local NGO is partnering with UNDP in implementing this project in Oé-Cusse under the funding of the SAR ZEESM-TL project. 


Ten spice crop farmers (5 male & 5 Female) 4 staff (2 Male&2Female) from BIFANO, 3 male technical staff from the Department of Agriculture and Forestry (SAR – ZEESM TL), and 2 male staff from UNDP participated in this study visit. During the first day, the team was hosted by the Agriculture Union of Ermera (UNAER) and was taken to vanilla, vegetable, and agroforestry fields to explain the cultivation of the crops. Farmers exchanged their experiences and were able to clear their doubts on the cultivation and marketing aspects of spice and fruit crops such as Rambutan, dragon fruit, and banana. They were able to witness the integrated agro-forestry systems which could be adopted in Oé-Cusse. On the second day, the team visited Quinta Portugal agro-forestry center in Aileu and learned about the nursery techniques for producing spice plants, compost making, agroforestry systems, and processing of cinnamon. 

Technical Explanation from Quinta Portugal Expert before heading to the field for observation

UNDP Timor-Leste/ SAR – ZEESM TL

Maria Bana, a female farmer, from Kutete felt so happy and grateful to the government authority, BIFANO, and UNDP that facilitated them to bring them in this field visit study to Ermera and Aileu. She said “I could see these cultivation methods in person and meet the other fellow farmers from Aileu and Ermera, and got to know about important crops that could bring more money to us. I am now confident that we could also develop these crops in our village because our place is also cold and have enough water like here. We will work hard to follow the footstep of farmers from Aileu and Ermera have shown to us”.  


Jacinto Lafu, the technical staff of the forest department, Oé-Cusse, expressed that the forestry department can replicate or jointly work with Quinta Portugal to develop agro-forestry systems in Oé-Cusse in the future.


Contact Information: Joni Maria dos Santos, UNDP (Oe-Cusse Agribusiness Project Coordinator), Tel.+ 670 78668675, Email address.


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