Researchers from Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and new ACIAR-funded agriculture innovation program AI-Com have today presented research at the 2017 International Tropical Agriculture Conference in Brisbane.
The world’s leading tropical agriculture conference, TropAg2017 focuses on science and technology solutions across the agriculture and food supply chains, including technology and investment, and invites leading researchers to present their work to an international audience.
A Dili-based team comprised of agriculture researchers from AI-Com and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The posters they presented covered a range of topics.
L-R: Luis de Almeido, Robert Williams, Acacio Amaral and Claudino Nabais represent Timor-Leste agriculture researchers at TropAg 2017 conference in Brisbane, Australia.
Luis de Almeida from AI-Com presented results from a review of literature about new technology to improve of maize production for smallholder farmers. Timor-Leste consumes the highest daily per capita amount of maize in Asia, and all is locally grown. However, yields are low and up to 30 per cent of stored grain is lost to weevils.
The conference gave Luis an opportunity to connect with scientists conducting similar research in other countries.
“I enjoyed showing my poster to scientists from around the world,” he said. “I discovered that scientists from Africa have also helped their farmers to increase yields with adapted varieties, and using legumes to fertilise the soil.”
Dr. Claudino Nabais, the director for agriculture research at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, presented research on developing hybrid maize varieties in Timor-Leste.
“TropAg 2017 conference has allowed me to discuss research issues with scientists from around the world,” he said. “From the meeting we will obtain high-temperature beans from Africa, crop modelling expertise from Australia, and good suggestions on mung bean agronomy from Queensland.”
AI-Com is a AI-Com is a collaborative research program between the Timor-Leste Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the National University of Timor Lorosa’e, World Vision Timor-Leste and the University of Western Australia that aims to improve agricultural productivity and profitability in communities in Timor-Leste.