The Enhancing Rural Access Agro Forestry (ERA Agro-Forestry) Project is part of the partnership programme between the EU and Timor-Leste, funded under the 11th European Development Fund.
Welcoming the signing of the partnership, Minister Gastão de Sousa, highlighted that people of Timor-Leste have considered the improvement of rural roads to be one of the most important conditions for local economic and social development. Rural road access is a key to improve rural livelihood conditions of the country.
As part of our commitment to rural development, the access road component of this Agro-forestry project is embedded in the organization framework of the Ministry. It is to ensure that our institution will benefit of the capacity building component of the programme and as a key strategy to create solid foundation for sustainability."H.E Gastão de Sousa, Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communication of Timor-Leste
The ERA Agro-Forestry Project is aimed at improving rural access, creating employment, economic and domestic revenue opportunities through agro-forestry development for agricultural populations of the municipalities of Baucau, Covalima, Lautem, Manatuto, Manufahi and Viqueque.
The Project includes rehabilitation and maintenance of access roads and training courses for 40 state employees at central and regional level. In total, more than 90 kilometers of roads will be covered - which will benefit more than six thousand families, with 400 learners passing the certified training courses. In addition, it is estimated that the implementation of the Project will create 450,000 days of paid work directly benefiting 6,000 workers and their families.
The activities of the Project will be implemented with the collaboration of the Don Bosco Technical Institute and in coordination with the Institute of Support and Business Development.
Ms Michiko Miyamoto, the ILO’s Country Director for Timor-Leste, stated that the ILO has put great importance on rural economic development in terms of access to employment and income generating opportunities. Better rural access will in turn maximize agro-forestry development in rural areas for further social and economic gain.
This is not an isolated action, but rather coordinated with a rural development programme that aims to promote agriculture and forestry in the east and south of the country. This is also a programme aimed at building local businesses in the fields of construction, rehabilitation and management."H.E. Alexandre Leitão, Head of the European Union (EU) Mission in Timor-Leste
Meanwhile, H.E. Alexandre Leitão, Head of the European Union (EU) Mission in Timor-Leste, emphasized the benefits to be gained by the communities, particularly women and youth, from this agroforestry project.
“This is not an isolated action, but rather coordinated with a rural development programme that aims to promote agriculture and forestry in the east and south of the country. This is also a programme aimed at building local businesses in the fields of construction, rehabilitation and management," he said, noting that it will help “promote economic development in rural areas.”
Many regions of Timor-Leste still have rural roads in poor conditions, which prevents transportation of products to markets, affecting public services such as education and health.
The ILO being in charge of labour inspection, will evaluate local companies with capacity for road works, to ensure the application of international quality standards.
Since Timor-Leste became a member State of the ILO in 2003, ILO has forged a very constructive working relation with the Government of Timor-Leste and its social partners such as employers’ and workers organizations. One of the ILO’s key priority areas with Timor-Leste is rural economic development. Therefore, This ERA Agro-Forestry project is a critical vehicle for achievement of the expected outcome of the Timor-Leste Decent Work Country Programme (2016-2020).
For further information please contact:Ms Lita Octavia
ILO's Programme Officer for Timor-Leste
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 153