GIEWS Country Briefs

Timor-Leste PDF version    Email this article Print this article Subscribe FAO GIEWS RSS  Share this article  

Reference Date: 28-January-2014


  1. Rice production in 2013 decreased sharply

  2. Higher cereal imports during 2013/14 marketing year (July/June)

  1. Overall food security conditions are improving but localised food insecurity still persists

Good rains over the main producing areas for the current cropping season

Planting of the 2013/14 main season maize crop was completed in December, while that of main season paddy will continue into February. Assuming normal weather pattern for the rest of the season, early prospects are favourable as rainfall so far has been above average over the main producing areas of the country.

Rice production in 2013 decreased sharply

Harvesting of the 2013 main paddy crop was co mpleted in July, while that of secondary off season crop was finalised by December. Official estimates indicate a sharp reduction in the area planted to rice from last year’s record level. According to remote sensing data, rainfall was generally average to above average during the growing season (Novermber-April) over large parts of the country, leading to good vegetative growing conditions. However, heavy downpours in June and July resulted in localised flooding and landslides causing crop damage and severe reduction in yields particulalry in parts of producing areas of Ainaro, Baucau, Cocalima and Viqueque districts. As a result, latest official forecast point to a 2013 aggregate rice paddy production (the main and off season), of about 87 332 tonnes, some 38 percent below last year’s record crop.

The 2013 total maize crop, including main and off season harvest, is officilly estimated at 100 800 tonnes, some 6 percent above last year’s below average level. The increase is predominantly attributed to higher yields, as result of favourable rains during the season in the main growing areas, increased use of high quality seeds and improved farming practices.

Overall, the 2013 aggregate cereal production is estimated at a below average level of 188 000 tonnes, marking a decrease of 20 percent relative to the previous year’s bumper output. Crop monitoring and production estimation in Timor-Leste is currently being strengthened with a new EU funded FAO project which established a National Information and Early Warning System (NIEWS) in 2012.

Higher cereal imports in 2013/14 marketing year (July/June)

Cereal imports for 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) are forecast to increase to 86 000 tonnes due to the reduced rice production in 2013.

Overall food security conditions are improving but localized food insecurity still persists

In 2013 Timor-Leste graduated out of the group of Low-Income and Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDC). However, household food difficulties are anticipated in areas affected by floods in June and July as well as areas that experienced production shortfalls this year. Access to food remains also a major challenge in the upland and remotely located villages.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2007, 2003
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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