Marcal Mendonca is taking a chance on coffee. As he stands proudly in front of his new nursery in Aileu district, Timor-Leste, he says raising seedlings is a first for him, but he’s optimistic that it will be worth the time and effort. “I’m doing this partly to get money, but also to help other farmers and to rehabilitate my own farm,” said Mendonca, 46, who has six children.
Mendonca is in charge of producing 15,000 coffee seedlings, with support from the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) and Cooperativa Cafe Timor (CCT), a 21,000-member organic coffee co-operative.
A short drive away, 28-year-old Alberto de Jesus is growing 10,000 coffee tree seedlings and 5,000 shade tree seedlings, which will provide vital shade for crops. “I’m doing this for my family, my friends and also to make a bit of money,” he said.
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Dear fellow land rights advocates in Timor Leste,
Our organization, Asian Farmers’ Association or AFA, supports your call for the implementation of the Minimum Requirements to ensure meaningful public participation in developing your country’s Land Law.
AFA, a regional alliance of nine national farmers’ organizations in eight Asian countries, believes that security of land tenure is a basic requirement for peace and sustainable development of small scale men and women farmers and indigenous peoples.
We hope you will have an effective land law that respects the wishes and culture of the people, gives rights to those who will actually farm on the lands, and facilitates small scale farmers and IPs claim to these rights.
Ma. Estrella Penunia
Asian Farmers’ Association
Continue reading AFA supports fair land law processes in Timor-Leste