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 …

Two well-adapted common bean varieties identified in newly published TLSA research

In Timor-Leste’s cooler climates, the common bean is a reliable, well-growing and protein-dense staple crop, providing important nutrition for thousands of farming families. But until now, little has been known about which bean varieties are best adapted to Timor-Leste’s climate – which could have significant impacts on the ability of crops to produce sufficient yields …

Bringing biochar innovations to potato farmers with World Vision

AI-Com’s partner, World Vision Timor-Leste, has successfully conducted training with 26 farmers over four municipalities on the application of biochar and cow manure to orange sweet potato crops – offering important opportunities for local farming families to improve yields of the nutritious crop, using local, organic fertilisers. Conducted in March and April this year, the …

Sandalwood plantation starts in Natarbora

AI-Com researchers have this week started planting out sandalwood trees in a new plantation at Natarbora, Manauto municipality, on Timor-Leste’s south coast, which will serve as an important resource for researchers and community members over the coming decades. A high-value tree native to Timor-Leste, sandalwood is sought after worldwide for its valuable heartwood and fragrant …

PUBLICATION: A new story of sandalwood for Timor-Leste

The history of sandalwood is inextricably linked with the history of Timor-Leste and its people. Now, we’re proud to share its story. The native tree that covered Timor-Leste’s hilltops and sustained its families long before the first colonial traders reached the country’s shores, sandalwood drew the attention of Portuguese explorers and Indonesian soldiers, caused the …

Understanding how rural communities manage their natural resources

How do families make decisions about their land, crops, water and food? How would this affect their interest in adopting new agriculture innovations? And what position are we starting from in introducing these new ideas? Our socio-economic research team has this month presented the baseline results of a survey conducted in August and September last …

NGOs and farming communities bringing AI-Com innovations to Suai

Oxfam Timor-Leste has this month reported promising results of its tests of AI-Com innovations with its team and farmers’ groups in Suai. Suai is on Timor-Leste’s hot, flat south coast – an area people think is very unsuitable for common beans, the fibre-rich staple crop critical to good nutrition for farming families. But after AI-Com …

Two years of innovating for farming families: AI-Com’s mid-term results

Learning what we’ve done and still must do to bring good innovations to Timor-Leste’s farming families.   Agricultural innovation project AI-Com has celebrated the end of its second year of collaborative research in Timor-Leste with a results meeting and publication launch today at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Comoro, Dili. Attended by AI-Com …

PUBLICATION: First UNTL student research proceedings published

The University of Timor Lorosa’e, with support from AI-Com, has published the first results of student experiments designed to understand how farming families can increase the yield of crops planted in rice paddies after the rice harvest. With a focus on alternative crops for farming system intensification, the newly published research proceedings collect results from …

Testing red rice yields in novel student experiments

Four University of Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL) students will this month start on-farm experiments investigating how to increase the yield of red rice – a nutritiously dense crop that grows well in Timor-Leste. Red rice sells for a higher price in the market, perhaps making it more profitable  for farmers. Supported by AI-Com and UNTL, the …