Friday 21 June 2024
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Project builds up the capacity of smallholders to produce high quality coffee in Timor-Leste

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OÉ-CUSSE, Timor-Leste – On Monday, 29 of November of 2021, the opening ceremony of the Coffee Cooperative in Lakufoan, suco Costa, Pante-Macassar Oé-cusse, was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Agribusiness Program in collaboration with the Regional Secretary of Agriculture, and cooperative members. The Regional Secretary for Agriculture, the Regional Secretary for Commerce and Industry, the Regional Secretary Administration, UNDP SAR-ZEESM Program Manager, NGOs with around 82 coffee farmers attended the event.

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture, the Regional Secretary for Trade and Industry, the Regional Secretary for Administration, and the UNDP Project Manager were welcomed by members of the local farmer group at the coffee cooperative, visited and inaugurated a water supply system and symbolically planted coffee in the premises. They inaugurated the Lakufoan Coffee Cooperative building which was renovated and equipped with a drying facility, a nursery, and processing facilities. “The collaboration with UNDP began in 2018 and they helped us to produce quality coffee , conducted trainings on different topics and finally we have transformed the group in to a Cooperative’’ remarked a representative of the cooperative.

The head of Lakufoan, Mr. Jose Takaqui, explained that in 2015 this building was used as a mobile health center. Since it was no longer in use, on the request of the coffee groups, the building was given to them. Now it has been improved with the support of UNDP for the full function of the cooperative. It is expected that next year more people will join as cooperative members and expand coffee the production in this region of Timor-Leste.

The UNDP SAR-ZEESM Project Manager, Ms. Patricia Porras, said “we have achieved success through the support of the government authorities to establish the Lakufoan Coffee Cooperative together with the fullest cooperation from the village head, Baki Health Center and the local community. We supported them to participate in the Coffee Festival organized by ACT (Associação Café Timor) in Timor-Leste.” The International and National Coffee Barista graded that Lakufoan Coffee was the third winner with organic taste in this festival. Thus far, the Cooperative members and farmers have eventually planted around 40,800 coffee plants on an area of25.5 hectares.

The Regional Secretary stated that he is grateful with UNDP, who has supported this cooperative so far to improve processing and product packaging. The processed coffee can be found in the market and it was packed and sold at a price that the local communities can afford to buy Lakufoan coffee to reduce coffee imports. In the future, we could export our coffee to national and international markets. The Regional Secretary for Trade and Industry also promised to make linkages with the National Market and encouraged the coop to participate in the trade exhibition at Pante Macassar, Oé-Cusse.

The Secretary of Agriculture remarked that the cooperative should enlarge its capacity to produce more plants and expand the cultivation as the product has become a unique product of Oe-Cusse. He also appealed to all levels of government to have Lakufoan coffee to promote at the local and national markets.


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