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Timor Leste needs strong involvement of AIT: Minister

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Timor Leste, H.E. Mariano Assanami Sabino has called for strong involvement of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in meeting the country’s Strategic Program 2020 for agricultural growth and sustainable food security. The Minister stated this following consultative meetings held after the two day national workshop on “Review of rice cultivation systems in Timor Leste” held at Dili on June 29-30, 2010.

Timor Leste needs strong involvement of AIT: Minister

H.E. Mariano Assanami Sabino

A meeting of donor agencies with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) of Timor Leste is planned in coming weeks and the Minister stressed the need for the presence of AIT at this meeting to assist in formulating a five year plan of activities for rice intensification.

The workshop deliberated on strategies to improve both rice production and economic status of the rural population in Timor Leste. The two-day national workshop was hosted by the MAF (Timor Leste) in co-sponsorship with German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), European Union (EU), and AIT. The co-sponsorship for AIT was brought through by Dr. Abha Mishra, Senior Research Specialist-cum-Affiliated Faculty, ASE/SERD with support from GTZ. Dr. Mishra was one of the four key speakers invited to analyze, discuss and provide recommendation for Sustainable Rice Intensification (SRI). The other key speakers invited for this workshop were from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Indonesia and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India.

Apart from this, Dr. Mishra was invited to deliver an open seminar on Rice Intensification at National University of Timor Leste (UNTL) on 28 June 2010, which was attended by the students and faculties and officials from the MAF.

Dr. Theo Ebbers, Wetlands Alliance Program (WAP) Aqua Outreach Coordinator also participated in the program, where, prior to the workshop, he made a presentation on Poverty Reduction and Agricultural Management (PRAM). The idea was noted with satisfaction and seen as one of the approaches to support the MAF’s extension delivery system through on-the-job training program offered by PRAM.

From left to right: Dr. G. Ravi, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India; Dr. V. Balasubramaniyam, from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); Eng. Lourenco Borges Fontes, Director General, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Timor Leste; Dr. Abha Mishra from AIT; H.E. Eng. Mariano Assanami Sabino, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Timor Leste; Prof. Dr. P. Iswandi, IPB, Bogor, Indonesia; and Mr. Jan Ketelaar, Chief Technical Advisor, FAO Asia-IPM Programme.