Project Name: USAID’s Avansa Agrikultura Project
Years of Operation: 2015- 2020
Countries: Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Sponsors: U.S. Agency for International Development
Partners: Cardno Emerging Markets USA, Ltd. (Prime)
Objectives: Through USAID’s Avansa Agrikultura Project, USAID seeks to support increased economic activity and growth for Timorese citizens in targeted rural communities and districts. USAID’s Avansa Agrikultura Project is a horticulture value chain activity aimed at addressing the key challenges of rural poverty, natural resource degradation, food insecurity, and under-nutrition. The value chain approach will be applied in achieving increased productivity along key horticulture value chains that include vegetables, fruits and legumes.
Outcomes: To date, 10 short-term technical assistance assignments successfully completed to include work to: develop and execute a climate change vulnerability assessment to promote agricultural packages to improve resilience within communities, improve production of sweet potatoes, advise farmers and extension staff on improved methods for organic production, and launch the school nutrition gardening program. Outcomes from these efforts will be measured in subsequent years of the program.
What part do we lead: To ensure maximum flexibility and reflect the demand-driven nature of this project, Texas A&M Agrilife Research, through the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture is working from a pool of resources to provide short-term technical assistance (STTA) from Texas A&M faculty as well as experts from the South East Asia Food and Science Technology Center (SEAFAST) to meet project needs. Technical assistance will include expertise related to: climate-smart agricultural practices, horticulture production, soil management and plan nutrients, post-harvest handing, food processing and safety, and exploration of indigenous fruit, nut and vegetable products as food sources.
The Borlaug Institute is working with local partners to develop a school nutrition garden program focused on increasing dietary diversification, improving horticulture practices, and reinforcing academic and life skills. This program is influenced by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s internationally recognized Junior Master Gardener Program.