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 …

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 …