Research update: New student experiments start in Laleia

Students from the National University of Timor Lorosa’e have this week officially commenced horticultural experiments at a new collaborative research site between AI-Com and the university at Laleia, in Manatuto municipality. Thirteen final-year agronomy students, 10 male and three female, will conduct experiments on crop yields over the next several months at the site, which …

Biochar plus showing great results in Manatuto

New, student-led research in Manatuto municipality is offering early positive results for experiments conducted with rice hull biochar – and an innovative addition to the organic fertiliser could offer a pathway for sustainable, increased crop production. Students from the University of Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL) started new experiments at Laleia, in Manatuto municipality, in August – …

Long-term planning with ACIAR’s CEO in Dili

The AI-Com team was this week delighted to welcome Professor Andrew Campbell, the chief executive officer of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, or ACIAR, to Dili. The visit was Professor Campbell’s first to Timor-Leste as CEO of ACIAR, and was long-hoped for – ACIAR has supported agriculture research projects in Timor-Leste since 2000, …

Contamination of staple crops with aflatoxin does not cause stunting in Timorese children

New research published this week from AI-Com shows that aflatoxin is unlikely to cause stunting in children in Timor-Leste – effectively simplifying food screening procedures and ensuring the safety of staple farm crops for families. Published this week in Nature Scientific Reports, the study measured levels of aflatoxin contamination in locally produced maize and peanuts …

Sowing seeds for sandalwood germplasm collection in Natarbora

Ai-Com researchers and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries staff have this week made progress towards the establishment of a germplasm collection of sandalwood trees at Natarbora. A local nursery has just germinated the future research site’s seedlings. Over the past few months, 200-gram samples of sandalwood seeds have been collected from 13 different villages from …

Research update: increasing legume production in Betano

Ai-Com researchers have this week visited research plots at Betano, on Timor-Leste’s flat southern coast, to review the growing progress of a range of peas and legumes. Planted in late April, mid-May and early June, the four legume species—cow peas, pigeon peas, mung beans and red beans—are being tested in a set of four experiments, …

How traditional land management systems are improving soil health in Timor-Leste

Researchers from AI-Com have this week presented new research on the role of tara bandu on maize and velvet bean farming systems—offering Timorese families and rural development workers key insights into how to manage animals and improve soil health, using centuries-old traditional local community practises. Presented by researcher Joaquina Barreto at the Timor-Leste Studies Association …

How Timor-Leste’s farm waste products can help to grow the country

New research from AI-Com presented this week has demonstrated the significance of a simple rice waste product to Timor-Leste’s farming families—offering families and rural development workers significant opportunity to improve soil health, increase crop yields, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create millions of dollars’ worth of new economic opportunities for rural families. Presented by AI-Com …

Why we’re planting sandalwood in Natarbora

Why we’re planting sandalwood in Natarbora Researchers from AI-Com spent last week in Natarbora, Manatuto municipality, beginning the planting out of sandalwood tree seedlings in a new one-hectare research plantation developed together with the Natarbora technical agricultural school. But what exactly are we doing, and why are we doing it? Sandalwood needs help to grow …