On 6th October 2017, the ACELDA, a private company from Baucau, and the CAAKUB, a Farmers' Association from Bobonaro, met for the first time to discuss about their future collaboration, particularly on the business of domestic rice.
The meeting, which was held with support from the MAF and the Project, was important for both the ACELDA and the CAAKUB, who shared their experiences as well as the lessons learned during the first cropping with each other.
During the first cropping, the ACELDA was planning to buy approximately 200 tons of paddy from farmers in Buluto area. However, it managed to buy only around 47 tons of paddy as most farmers kept their paddy for self-consumption rather than selling them for cash. Therefore, although the ACELDA has adequate budget to purchase paddy from farmers in Buluto area, its demand for the purchase of more paddy was not met.
On the other hand, in the first cropping, the CAAKUB was able to buy approximately 23 tons of paddy from farmers in Maliana I. Although there were more farmers who were willing to sell their paddies to the CAAKUB, it was unable to respond to all of their produce due to limited budget.
Under these circumstances, the MAF and the Project took the initiative to link the ACELDA and the CAAKUB in helping them to share information on their activities on domestic rice and become business partners in the future.
Mr. Higinio da Costa Freitas, the President of the ACELDA, appreciated the effort by the MAF and the Project to connect his company and the CAAKUB. Since the ACELDA is currently facing a problem on supply of its domestic rice, Mr. Higinio considers another alternative such as buying paddy from elsewhere like Maliana I. Therefore, the meeting with the CAAKUB came at the right moment for discussing the future business in collaboration with the CAAKUB. As he is looking forward to having another meeting with the CAAKUB to strengthen the relationship, he requested both the MAF and the Project to facilitate the process.
Mr. Diamantino dos Reis, the President of the CAAKUB said that as a new farmers' association, the CAAKUB is always opening its door to any organization which is interested in working together with it. He is also very much interested in learning more from the ACELDA which has been long operated in the business of domestic rice. He is also looking forward to building a good relationship with the ACELDA and to working together as reliable business partners in the future.
Mr. Fernando Égidio Amaral, National Director of Agro-Commerce appreciated the good initiative by the Project to link the CAAKUB and the ACELDA to work together in the business of domestic rice in the future. He said that involvement by the CAAKUB and the ACELDA in the business of domestic rice is significantly needed in promoting the domestic rice to the market, therefore, the MAF will continuously support them in making their businesses more effective and sustainable. He also mentioned that he welcomes the possibility for the CAAKUB and the ACELDA to work together for buying domestic rice from farmers in Maliana I in the future.
Mr. Shinji Hironaka, the Japanese Expert on Agricultural Distribution and Sales said that both of them contribute to ensuring food security in Timor-Leste despite the fact that the CAAKUB and the ACELDA are competing with each other in sales of domestic rice. He hoped that both of the organizations will complement each other in promoting sales of domestic rice to the market instead of looking at each other as a main business competitor. In addition, he said that the meeting is only the beginning for the cooperation between the CAAKUB and the ACELDA and more meetings between them will be organized in the future under cooperation of the MAF and the Project.
Mr. Diamantino, President of the CAAKUB.
Mr. Higinio, President of the ACELDA.
Mr. Higinio and Mr. Diamantino.
Scene of the first meeting between ACELDA and CAAKUB facilitated by MAF and the Project.