On 17th of November 2017, the CAAKUB started its second Test Sales at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) by selling the fresh rice from the second cropping of this year.
The opening ceremony of the second Test Sales was attended by H.E. Mr. Estanislau da Silva, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, H.E. Mr. Deolindo da Silva, the Vice Minister, Mr. Cipriano Ferreira, the Secretary of State of MAF, Mr. Masafumi Nagaishi, Chief Representative of JICA Timor-Leste and Mr. Noriaki Niwa, Chief Advisor of the Project with other staff of the MAF and development partners.
In addition, the opening ceremony was participated not only by the CAAKUB but also by other farmers' associations from Webaba Suai and Baguia which were also showcasing their main agricultural products such as domestic rice and beans.
During the speech, Minister Estanislau expressed his gratefulness for the on-going support from Japanese people through the JICA Project. He said that Timor-Leste has been enjoying the generous support from the government of Japan long way back since the country's independence, while the noticeable results can be seen through the improved schemes of the Buluto and Maliana Irrigation. He also praised the Japanese people for their passion to love their home grown rice and for sharing their experiences through the Project to help farmers to increase their productivity and access the market as well as to help the Timorese to love their own products.
Moreover, Mr. Estanislau appreciated the Project's efforts in gathering valuable statistical data from the farmers and providing some recommendations in helping the government to come up with appropriate policy for increasing domestic rice production in this country.
Mr. Nagaishi said that the government of Japan through the JICA has its strong commitment to promote domestic rice production in Timor-Leste through its investment in building the irrigation facilities in both Buluto and Maliana. However, after the completion of the irrigation facilities, farmers in those areas faced challenges on rice production, and therefore, the JICA decided to start the Project to address the issues on the value chain of domestic rice from production, sales and distribution.
Mr. Nagaishi further requested the CAAKUB which has long been working with the Project to share their experiences with other farmers' associations to better promote domestic rice in the future. He praised their efforts to purchase rice from farmers and explained that as the farmers earn money from selling their products, they will be motivated to increase more production.
On the other hand, the treasurer of the CAAKUB, Mrs. Josefa da Costa said that the CAAKUB will continue to deliver fresh rice to its customers in every cropping season, while hoping that in this season she will have more customers visiting the shop to buy more rice. She also hoped the Project and the MAF speed up the process in helping the CAAAKUB to expand its sales to other places in Dili.
In the opening ceremony, it was also observed that apart from the regular customers, there were new customers who came to the CAAKUB shop to buy the domestic rice. They were delighted to buy fresh rice of this harvest season, while some of them said that they don't mind spending more money for buying rice of good quality and requested the CAAKUB to run its mobile shop so that they don't need to travel a long way to buy the rice at the shop in the MAF.
Ms. Herminia Martins (36), a resident from Dili said that she has been a regular customer of the CAAKUB for some time because the CAAKUB provides clean rice of good quality. She also invited her female colleague to the CAAKUB shop because she saw on Facebook that the CAAKUB is selling the new rice of this season. She said that at home she selected domestic rice as a regular meal for her family not only for its taste and higher nutritious value but also for educating her children to love domestic products. She buys 2 bags of 10kg every month.
The opening ceremony of the second Test Sales 1.
The opening ceremony of the second Test Sales 2.
Minister Estanislau cutting the ribbon for the second Test Sales with Mr. Nagaishi.
Minister Estanislau talking to the CAAKUB rice seller.
Customers visiting the CAAKUB shop 1.
Customers visiting the CAAKUB shop 2.