ADRA Timor-Leste has been working in Viqueque Municipality since 2011 to implement WASH, agriculture, and livelihood programs. The FarMar project builds on ADRA’s experience working in Kitchen Gardens and supporting agriculture livelihoods.
The planned long-term outcomes of the FarMar project are:
- Increased profitability and sustainability of agro-enterprises
- Increased incomes, financial resilience, and food security among farmer households
The FarMar project builds upon experience and learning from previous and current agriculture livelihood programs. In addition to strengthening value chains for high-value products, the FarMar project will include production support for improved quality and yields of produce, improving post-harvest management, creating processing opportunities and savings and loan group support.
ADRA has engaged in a long-term approach to community development concentrating their efforts in Viqueque, which has historically been an underserved region of Timor-Leste. Starting with projects providing clean water and sanitation, ADRA has added programming in food security and agriculture livelihood support, targeted at local markets. With FarMar, they are supporting farmers to take the next step, transitioning from subsistence to commercial farming or helping farmers already active in the market to strengthen their agro-enterprises and links to markets.
Practices that ADRA has promoted and will utilise in FarMar include:
- Engaging local leaders in community action planning
- The establishment of demonstration plots
- Knowledge transfer and experimentation in Good Agriculture Practices through Farmer Field Schools
- Supporting the establishment of farmer groups enabling mutual support of farmers
ADRA staff work directly with farmers and work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF). The volunteer may from time to time have the opportunity to work directly with farmers and stakeholders including government from MAF or Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Economy. The volunteer should endeavour to support ADRA staff and partners by promoting best practice tailored to Timor-Leste’s unique context.
ADRA prides itself on being a learning organisation and the volunteer will be encouraged to promote an environment of openness to asking questions, sharing ideas, and seeking new ways of doing things. As the volunteer will be engaged in mentoring ADRA staff, they will also be expected to develop the mentoring skills of ADRA staff while accompanying them on field visits and providing feedback on their mentoring approaches.