Oxfam Timor-Leste is presently operating the Haforsa (Strengthening Community Livelihoods) Programme. Sitting under Objective one of the Haforsa Programme ‘Women and men in rural communities have improved food and income security’ is the IMPACT project. The IMPACT project is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
The objectives of the IMPACT project are:
- Increased productivity of male and female farmers through applied agricultural knowledge and productive assets
- More effective farmer groups/cooperatives provide services and benefits to members
- Increased access to better markets and increased sales for selected crop
The Haforsa programme and IMPACT project have been designed based on learnings from previous Oxfam livelihood and climate change adaptation programs. The five most effective interventions to increase food availability from production and for increasing income have been found to be in horticulture, establishing permanent gardens, introducing intercropping/crop diversification, establishing savings and loans groups (such as within Urban Basic Services Programmes UBSP) and developing systems for rice intensification.
Oxfam have also found that there are a number of important factors which contribute to the effectiveness of such programmes, including:
- The establishment of demonstration farms and permanent plots
- Being a member of a group enabling mutual support of farmers
- An increased farmer understanding of climate change and its impact, which motivates farmers to adopt better farming technology
The focus of interventions in previous programmes were mainly on production, with limited engagement of partners (farmers) and beneficiaries with markets. Establishing market linkages is a key priority for communities who engage with the programme.
Oxfam staff and partners require support and technical training to ensure that agricultural activities are implemented according to best practice within the Timor-Leste context. The design of the Haforsa program, and the IMPACT project seek to directly respond to these learnings by providing partners and Oxfam staff with more technical support for agricultural/horticultural activities, and to support communities to strengthen their linkages to markets.
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