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FAO Project Highlights: Enhancing food security and nutrition and reducing disaster risk through the promotion of conservation agriculture (OSRO/TIM/301/USA)

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Enhance household food security and nutrition and reduce disaster risk through the promotion of conservation agriculture to reduce crop losses caused by the increasing frequency and severity of droughts (associated with climate change and variability) leading to a sustained increase in agricultural productivity.

Beneficiaries reached

4 106 smallholder farmers.

Activities implemented

  • Mobilized directly a total of 4 106 male and female smallholder farmers for the up-scaling of new and improved conservation agriculture technologies and practices.
  • Prepared and implemented 13 participatory land use plans and customary laws in 17 villages where farmers’ groups had adopted conservation agriculture but lacked protection from the burning of fallow lands and crop residues and free-grazing of animals.
  • Supported the Government of Timor-Leste in capacity building, policy, strategy and action plan drafting in order to foster a favourable environment for conservation agriculture in the country.
  • Familiarized 367 government and non-governmental research and extension staff with conservation agriculture technologies and practices.
  • Provided farming tools, machinery and inputs (26 two-wheel tractors [TWTs], 21 TWT direct seeders, 26 TWT roller/crimpers and 12 four-wheel tractor roller/crimpers; 165 hand rolling injector planters, 224 hand jab planters and 224 hand lii seeders; 4 490 long-handled sickles; 78 200-litre plastic drums, 20 wheelbarrow sprayers and 30 knapsack sprayers; and 925 watering cans).


  • Reduced amount of labour employed and fuel used.
  • Increased maize yields ranging from 40 to 125 percent after three years of practicing conservation agriculture.
  • Increased net benefits for farmers practicing conservation agriculture total USD 1 244.25 /ha versus a loss of USD 10.52/ha for farmers practicing conventional agriculture.
  • Increased maize survival rates during drought from 0 to 40 percent to 40 to 95 percent.