Enhancing Rural Access Agro-Forestry Project (ERA Agro-Forestry)

The Project aims to contribute to a peaceful, inclusive and sustainable development in Timor-Leste, through improved rural access, the creation of employment, economic and domestic revenue opportunities through agro-forestry development, and a durable reduction in food insecurity and malnutrition in rural areas. This project is funded by the European Union.

Background

The ERA Agro-Forestry is a component of a partnership for Sustainable Agro-Forestry (PSAF) between Timor-Leste, the European Union (EU), Germany and the International Labour Organization (ILO), which will contribute to a peaceful, inclusive and sustainable development in Timor-Leste, through improved rural access, the creation of employment, economic and domestic revenue opportunities through agro-forestry development, and a durable reduction in food insecurity and malnutrition in rural areas.

The programme will be delivered through:

  • Technical cooperation from GIZ to support the Ministry of Agriculture's efforts to foster a conducive environment for agro-forestry activities along the value-chain, as well as to support agro-forestry development, land and natural resources management and technical skill development and market linkages;
  • Technical support from ILO to support the Ministry of Public Works Directorate of Roads Bridges and Flood Control (DRBFC) and Municipalities and strengthen local training institutions to train local construction companies to rehabilitate/maintain rural roads which service agro-forestry areas in order to facilitate market access. Cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth and protection of the environment are highly relevant and has been fully integrated in the design of this partnership.
The Program components will be planned jointly and coordinated, and collaboration between ILO and GIZ formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding.

Objectives

The objective of the PSAF Specific Objective 2 (ERA Agro-Forestry), the component that will be implemented by the ILO, is "to implement a capacity building and labour-based programme to rehabilitate and maintain rural roads in order to improve access to agro forestry areas, employment and economic opportunities for local population" with the following results:

Result 1: Improved market access: rehabilitation and maintenance of at least 60km of rural roads servicing targeted agro forestry areas, providing economic opportunities for private businesses and communities, by fostering market linkages, as well as work opportunities for communities.

Result 2: Improved skills of at least 40 construction companies and municipality management of rural roads where the programme is active, including capacity building of local training institutions, construction companies and government, central and local authorities responsible for public work in rural areas.

Institutionally, 'ERA Agro-Forestry' will be anchored within DRBFC as a new and permanent section, namely the Private Sector Development and Coordination Section (PS-DCS). This arrangement ensures full integration of 'ERA Agro-Forestry' within the central government department and municipal DRBFC offices responsible for public roads in TL, and facilitate close collaboration with R4D, Government's flagship programme for rural roads. It also allows for an effective and formal working relationship with the training providers Don Bosco and IADE.

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).

The timeframe for this ILO project component is 4 years, from May 2017 – May 2021 with a Project Budget (ILO) of EUR 12.2 Million.

The set targets for the project are:

  • 90 km of roads rehabilitated and 130 km maintained to DRBFC standards.
  • 6,000 households have improved access to rural roads.
  • 450,000 worker-days generated of which at least 30 percent for women.
  • 6,000 workers and their families benefit directly from the offered employment opportunities on the road works.
  • 400 accredited certificates issued to trainees by participating training providers (Don Bosco and IADE).
  • 40 contracts awarded for rehabilitation and maintenance to trained local construction companies.
  • Capacity building for government staff, at least 40 public works and municipal officials actively involved in rural road management and maintenance
  • At least 1,000 trainee-days for Municipal staff in rural road management and maintenance