Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA has launched a special appeal on behalf of farmers in Timor Leste who are creating unions for the first time.
Already, four unions have been established, with another three underway. Traditionally, farmers have been poorly organised and unable to advocate for their own interests. These new unions are a good step towards addressing some serious issues.
Twenty years after the end of Indonesian occupation, farmers in Timor Leste are still suffering from a lack of infrastructure and low agricultural production. This has resulted in high rates of poverty and malnutrition.
Climate change is making the situation worse, with the country suffering from destructive droughts and floods.
Rural communities are rising to face these challenges. Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is supporting them to defend their rights to access land, learn about sustainable farming practices and collectively organise to find their own solutions.
With your support, rural communities can win their struggles around food security, environmental sustainability and workers’ rights, and help create a new era for Timor-Leste’s development.
Union Aid Abroad -APHEDA works with three partner organisations, Instituto Edukasaun Popular, Kdadalak Sulimutuk Institute and Uniaun Agrikultor Ermera, to help build a grassroots movement of farmers who can collectively organise to find their own solutions.
They are helping farmers manage the effects of climate change by:
- Establishing plant nurseries to grow a diverse range of crops
- Building terraces to prevent soil erosion
- Digging wells to conserve water and combat salination
- Training farmers on sustainable agricultural practices
APHEDA Country Manager in Timor Leste Elisabeth de Araujo said: “The farmer’s project is very good for the Timorese people. 80% of the population are farmers, but the government isn’t really investing in this sector.
“They learn from our partners organisations and each other. Through this they see that they need to stick together. They learn how to increase the quality of their produce.
“Over the last 20 years, the Australian union movement has really supported the people of Timor-Leste and that solidarity continues today.”
Our goal is to raise $20,000. Please consider donating today. Visit https://timor-farmers.raisely.com/ and donate online. Or call our office on 02 9264 9343 and donate over the phone.