GIEWS Country Briefs

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

Reference Date: 26-June-2014


  1. Favourable outlook for the 2014 main season paddy and maize crops

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

  1. Overall food security conditions improve but localized food insecurity persists

Favourable outlook for the 2014 main season paddy and maize crops

Harvesting of the 2014 main season rice crop is well underway, while that of maize was completed in April. Despite below-average rains between late January and early March particularly in parts of Covalima, Lautem, Manufahi and Viqueque districts, the cumulative rainfall over the entire cropping period was generally near-average, leading to overall favourable crop growing conditions. As a result, FAO tentatively forecasts the aggregate 2014 rice production (including the 2014 main and off season harvests) at 108 000 tonnes, an increase of 24 percent on last year’s reduced harvest but still remain below the average of the previous five years. Similarly, the early forecast of the 2014 maize crop is put at 105 000 tonnes, 4 percent up on last year’s good crop. The overall favourable forecast is mainly attributed to increased use of high quality seeds, adequate supplies of fertilizers and adoption of new technologies, including newly-imported machinery.

Planting of the 2014 off-season crops, mainly paddy and maize began in April and is expected to last until July. Early prospects are good as rainfall has been generally favourable over the main producing areas.

Rice production decreased sharply in 2013

Latest official forecast points to a 2013 aggregate rice production of about 87 332 tonnes, some 38 percent below the 2012 record high crop. The decline is attributed to a sharp reduction in area planted and slightly lower yields, following localized flooding and landslides in June and July 2013. By contrast, the rains boosted the 2013 total maize harvest, officially estimated at 100 800 tonnes, some 6 percent above the previous year’s below-average level.

Overall, the 2013 aggregate cereal production is estimated at a below-average level of 188 000 tonnes, 20 percent lower than the previous year’s bumper output.

Currently, the EU-funded FAO project, which established a National Information and Early Warning System (NIEWS) in 2012, is assisting in strengthening the country’s capacity in crop monitoring and production estimation.

Cereal imports increased in 2013/14 marketing year (July/June)

Cereal imports in the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) are estimated to have increased to 88 000 tonnes, comprised of 66 tonnes of rice, 10 000 tonnes of wheat and 12 tonnes of maize.

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

Floods in June and July 2013 in eastern parts caused widespread damages affecting at least 21 000 people. Furthermore, cereal production shortfalls last year, particularly in Aileu, Ainaro, Dili and Ermera districts, further exacerbated the food security situation of vulnerable groups. Access to food also remains a major challenge in the upland and remotely located villages.

In 2013 Timor-Leste has officially graduated out of the group of Low-Income and Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDC).

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2007, 2003
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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