The ERA Agro-Forestry Project closes 3rd Batch training programme and launches new trial contracts in Timor-Leste

The training of contractors, engineers and supervisors is critical in facilitating access and market linkages within rural agroforestry communities in Timor-Leste. The ILO in partnership with the Ministry of Public Works has implemented this with support from the European Union (EU).

Press release | Dili, Timor-Leste | 23 September 2020
The launching of the third batch of trial contracts in Timor-LesteCaption goes here
The third batch and final training programme was formally closed and the third batch of trial contracts launched during a ceremony attended by Mr. Paolo Toselli, EU Delegation Representative and Mr. Albert Uriyo, OiC Head of Mission and Project Manager of ERA-Agro-Forestry Project, at Suco Caenlio, Ilomar – Lautem. This third batch training had nine contractors from Lautem and Manatuto municipalities respectively.

Among the stakeholders who were present at this event included the Representative from National Authorizing Office(N.A.O), Representative from National Directorate for Road Bridges, and Flood Control(NDRBFC), Mr. Jeferino dos Santos Sequiera - Administrator of Lautem Municipality, Partner for Sustainable Agro-Forestry(PSAF) – GIZ Programme Representative, Commander of Police of Lautem Municipality Chief Superintendant Antonio Do Rego Fernandes, and Mr. Joao Baptista Ruas, the Administrator of Iliomar Post Administration.

Nine contractors were trained under the third batch contractor training which completed the target of 34 contractors planned to be trained under the ERA Agro-Forestry Project to rehabilitate 77 Kms of rural roads in the Municipalities of Baucau, Viqueque Manatuto and Lautem. These training courses involved 41 participants, including Directors, Engineers and Supervisors from small-scale construction companies who were capacitated through a comprehensive classroom and field practical training from 27th January 2020 to 18th July 2020 in Dili and Iliomar,

Lautem municipality respectively. Don Bosco Training Centre (DBTC) and Institute for Business Development Support (IADE), which are the accredited training institutions, provided these trainings. Participants were trained on; Construction of rural roads using labour based methods, road pavement construction technique, road maintenance, and Business and contracts management. The project also facilitated four women from “FETO Enginhera” (Tetun for “Women In Engineering), so as to ensure inclusiveness within this male-dominated field, and also capacity building for one Technical Staff from Lautem Municipality.

The trained contractors will then deliver physical and impactful outputs for the PSAF, where six roads are to be rehabilitated to provide all-weather access in Lautem and Manatuto Municipalities. Nine contracts have been awarded road contracts and will involve the community in constructing the roads with a total length of 24.36 kms planned to be completed within 9 months.

These works are expected to create 64,240 worker-days of employment, and will cost about USD 1,945,733.03. The project also promotes inclusiveness among the vulnerable youth, women, and people with disabilities. This is expected to realize at least 30 percent women participation. So far, of these trained small scale construction firms, Around 57 percent are women owned.

The ILO OiC Head of Mission and Project Manager of ERA-Agro-Forestry Project, Mr. Albert Uriyo, appreciated the immense support and involvement of the European Union(EU) and other stakeholders and partners, which is funding the project. He continuously highlighted on ILO’s commitment, to decent work as demonstrated in the ERA Agro-Forestry project which besides providing roads, creates employment, dignity and act as a social protection measure for the vulnerable including youth and children.

The ERA Agro-Forestry Project, funded by the European Union with EURO 12 million, provides road access to the rural communities that offers market linkages for agroforestry products. Through ERA Agro-Forestry Project – implemented by ILO, the EU is expected to contribute to the rehabilitation of atleast 77 kms of roads within agro-forestry rural communities within Baucau, Viqueque, Manatuto and Lautem Municipalities.

This will be implemented by 34 contractors who will, in-turn through their projects, deliver about 235,000 worker-days of employment through 5,133 beneficiaries of which at least 30 percent are expected to be women. Already about 77 kms have been awarded to 34 contractors who have been trained from Baucau, Viqueque, Manatuto and Lautem. About 47 kms of rural roads have been rehabilitated which which created 124,361 workerdays of employment to about 2,746 workers with more than 630 of them being women.

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