Prime Minister (PM) Mari Amude Bin Alkatiri appeals to women’s groups to continue to work hard and develop the agriculture sector in order to support families and contribute to the country’s economy growth.

Prime Minister (PM) Mari Amude Bin Alkatiri appeals to women’s groups to continue to work hard and develop the agriculture sector in order to support families and contribute to the country’s economy growth.

He said that the major labor in Timor-Leste is women being 50% of the population in Timor-Leste and women need to be involved in agriculture.
He said the main thing that society should change is the mentality on agriculture, subsistence farming will not make us rich.
"I just like to say that in the long term, agriculture in Timor-Leste will be the economic base and not kerosene," said Prime Minister in the opening the national workshop to ‘Strengthening Women’s visibility in agriculture, nutrition and access to the market at the Maria Gorreti hall room in Obrigado Barak, Dili.
He said there are several markets across the country, the main thing is to strengthen the coordination between farmers and the relevant Ministries, such as Ministry of Education, Ministry of Defense and Security and Ministry of Health, as they provide school feeding to children, patients, police and the soldiers.
"We start at the market level, then soon this will advance to the international markets," he said.
He added that the state has an obligation to find a solution to gain international certificates, in order to gain everyone's trust in Timor-Leste's organic products, because there is a large market for organic products.
He also urged the producers groups to encourage nutritional products, and promote the high value of nutrition that comes from vegetables on people’s health.
Meanwhile, the Director of the Women's network Timor-Leste, Sabina Fernandes Seac said the effort undertaken by the members of organizations continue to provide technical support to the producers groups and resolve the quanitity and quality of the product.
"We need to continue to fix existing product quality within the country and also compete on the International Market, through private sectors that have been accredited," she said.
She said women's groups have their own resource and strong will to work, because they want to fix the family economy, however they still need technical support.
On the other hand, representative from the women's groups Hisik Kosar Hadia Moris (HIKHMOR), Lurdes Mendonca Ramos, said the type of activities carried out are planting 1 hectare of different vegetables, raise the fish, chicken, make the chips, and organize the loan and be responsible to save money.
She said this group was established in 2002, now has 150 members that consisted of 84 women and 66 men and became successful when the groups became a cooperative in 2013.
"When you are work hard, in a week you can earn more than $150 because the Kmanek supermarket will take these products weekly," she said.
She said with the number of members they always find a challenge and the dialogue is the only way they can respond to challenges and they continue to promote transparency within the groups.
She added, the income that they earn is for their family, and to buy seeds and to maintain the water.