The Situation in Timor-Leste
â¢ Timor-Leste – like other countries – is affected by the global food crisis
â¢ The current impact is limited because Timor-Leste does have food stocks and is importing stocks from Vietnam
â¢ Indonesia has also expressed a willingness to sell rice to Timor-Leste
â¢ The current price of rice on world markets is around $1.20 to $1.30 per kilogram compared with US$ 40 cents per kilogram six months ago.
â¢ The current price of rice in Timor-Leste is around 50 to 60 cents per kilogram with Government food being available, compared with 40 cents per kilogram six months ago. Without government food on the market the price would be about double.
â¢ In the short term, the Government has 7,500 tonnes of rice in stock and they are importing 16,000 tonnes, of which 2,500 has already arrived. A further 3,800 is expected this week and another 2,500 is expected in the near future.
â¢ Timor-Leste current produces 40,000 metric tonnes of rice per year and imports between 50 to 60,000 tonnes â 30 per cent of the rice consumed is grown in the country
â¢ Timor-Leste produces 100,000 tonnes of maize per year
â¢ Timor-Leste also grows cassava which provides a good food source during lean times
The Situation Globally
â¢ An increase in demand caused by population growth and an increasing appetite for meat products
â¢ Food crops being used for bio-fuel alternatives
â¢ A shortage of reserves
â¢ Increasing fuel prices are contributing to the cost of food production and of food imports
â¢ Natural disasters such as floods and droughts as well as pests are affecting food production
The Effect in Timor-Leste
â¢ The immediate effect for the people in Timor-Leste will be limited, because the Government is importing rice to avoid market shortages and prevent steep price rises
â¢ People in Timor-Leste will not starve. There are ample food alternatives to rice such as maize and cassava
â¢ Currently there is no evidence of any significant rice hoarding
â¢ In the long-term it will be important to introduce policies that stimulate national production to reduce dependence on imports
For more information please call Allison Cooper on +670 7230453