DILI, TIMOR-LESTE (28 May 2019) — A comprehensive plan to develop Timor-Leste’s coffee sector was launched in Dili today by Timor-Leste’s Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Mr. Joaquim Jose Gusmao Reis Martins.

The plan, prepared with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Coffee Quality Institute, and Timor Coffee Association, targets a doubling of coffee production by 2030 and a 270% increase in coffee export earnings. To achieve these goals, the plan maps out a series of actions to strengthen basic research, production, quality and value addition, market access, and domestic consumption.

“This is Timor-Leste’s first ever national coffee sector plan and will help us to create jobs and lift coffee producers out of poverty,” said Mr. Martins at the event.

Implementation of the plan will see a significant increase in investment in the sector to support coffee farm rehabilitation, training, and development. Preliminary activities under the plan have already begun and will now be scaled up through partnerships between the government and the private sector.

The new plan, described as a model for collaboration between government and the private sector, was prepared following extensive consultations with government agencies, coffee farmers, processors and exporters, and nongovernment organizations. The Timor Coffee Association, a non-profit trade association, played a significant role in developing the plan and will work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to coordinate implementation.

“The Coffee Sector Development Plan builds on recent good progress and will help to accelerate the modernization of the coffee sector,” said ADB Country Economist Mr. David Freedman.

Coffee is Timor-Leste’s most historic and important crop and has been the country’s largest non-oil export for the past 150 years. It is grown by around one-third of households in Timor-Leste and 20% of households rely on the crop for cash income.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion.

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