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Good Rains Over Main Producing Areas for Current Cropping Season

03 March 2014

TIMOR-LESTE - Planting of the 2013/14 main season maize crop was completed in December, while that of main season paddy will continue into February.

Assuming normal weather pattern for the rest of the season, early prospects are favourable as rainfall so far has been above average over the main producing areas of the country.

Rice production in 2013 decreased sharply

Harvesting of the 2013 main paddy crop was co mpleted in July, while that of secondary off season crop was finalised by December. Official estimates indicate a sharp reduction in the area planted to rice from last year’s record level.

According to remote sensing data, rainfall was generally average to above average during the growing season (Novermber-April) over large parts of the country, leading to good vegetative growing conditions.

However, heavy downpours in June and July resulted in localised flooding and landslides causing crop damage and severe reduction in yields particulalry in parts of producing areas of Ainaro, Baucau, Cocalima and Viqueque districts.

As a result, latest official forecast point to a 2013 aggregate rice paddy production (the main and off season), of about 87 332 tonnes, some 38 percent below last year’s record crop.

The 2013 total maize crop, including main and off season harvest, is officilly estimated at 100 800 tonnes, some 6 percent above last year’s below average level. The increase is predominantly attributed to higher yields, as result of favourable rains during the season in the main growing areas, increased use of high quality seeds and improved farming practices.

Overall, the 2013 aggregate cereal production is estimated at a below average level of 188 000 tonnes, marking a decrease of 20 percent relative to the previous year’s bumper output.

Crop monitoring and production estimation in Timor-Leste is currently being strengthened with a new EU funded FAO project which established a National Information and Early Warning System (NIEWS) in 2012.

TheCropSite News Desk

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