ADB’s grant will help Timor-Leste to support 2,000 coffee-farming households on good agricultural practices


ADB provides funds for coffee sector development in Timor-Leste. (Credit: Gideon Putra from Pixabay)

Southeast Asian nation Timor-Leste has entered into a $3m grant agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the development of the coffee sector in the country.

The grant will allow Timor-Leste to support 2,000 coffee-farming households on good agricultural practices, in addition to providing access to finance.

The funding will also help to enhance the coffee quality and market links, as well as improve rural livelihoods during the coronavirus disease or Covid-19 pandemic.

Coffee is grown by around 37.5% of households in Timor-Leste

Coffee, which is Timor-Leste’s largest non-oil export, is grown by around 37.5% of households in the country.

Funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, the Coffee and Agroforestry Livelihood Improvement Project is targeting the coffee-producing municipalities of Aileu, Ainaro, Bobonaro, Ermera, Liquica, and Manufahi.

The project aims to double Timor-Leste coffee and agroforestry production and focus on a 270% increase in coffee export earnings by 2030.

The project will help to implement the country’s 11-year Coffee Sector Development Plan, which was approved by the government last year by taking the support of ADB and the global nonprofit Coffee Quality Institute.

As part of the plan, the government decided to invest $38m in six core areas such as research and development, production and productivity and value addition, market access, domestic consumption and tourism and sector management coordination.

The project is based on ADB’s earlier work in the coffee sector, including a $1m grant approved in 2018 to support smallholder coffee farmers in the country improve their productivity and crop quality to achieve international certification standards.

ADB Southeast Asia senior natural resources and agriculture specialist Stefania Dina said: “The development of Timor-Leste’s coffee sector is a national priority, as it offers one of the best pathways to reducing poverty and inequality, improving food security, and expanding Timor-Leste’s non-oil economy.

“The project will boost coffee quality and market access. It will also support the country’s post-Covid-19 economic recovery by helping improve rural livelihoods and promote private sector development.”

In March, the ADB agreed to provide $40m in loans to support the modernisation of irrigation networks and vegetable production in Mongolia.