Farming in Oecussi

oecussi_182.jpgOecussi farming East Timor

Slash and burn practices are still commonly used in Oecussi and the rest of East Timor.

Some groups are supporting reforestation and trying to introduce other methods to grow crops.

oecussi_150.jpgOecussi is very dry so the rainy season is waited for in earnest. This year it was late and began the second week of Dec but can start in November some years.

Maize or corn is an important crop that will get planted as soon as the ground has enough moisture to weather through a dry spell.

oecussi_147.jpgThe people here still tend to burn off all the old vegetation before planting. The mountains are set ablaze before the wet season begins. It looks pretty cool at night.

It is a common practice everywhere in East Timor and is a tradition that goes back as far as anyone can remember.

There are a few NGO’s trying to encourage different methods of farming but old habits don’t die easily.

Teak and mahogany trees are grown in nurseries to be replanted in the hills. They will not be ready to harvest for 50 years but will help prevent erosion.

Coffee grows well in the shade of other trees. The robusta grows ok in lower elevations while the aribica, a more sought after coffee grows better at high elevations.


dp-logoEast Timor – Land of Fire

Dec 14, 2006

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