ABC Radio Australia
East Timor’s Fretilin Party says the government has failed to consult the public about its plans to develop a biofuel industry.
The party’s Jose Teixeira says the government is planning to use 300 thousand hectares of land in East Timor for the production of biofuels.
Radio Australia’s reporter in Dili, Christine Webster, says Fretilin MP Jose Teixera says it is concerning the government wants to use more than half of East Timor’s arable land to produce biofuels.
He says this land should be used to cultivate food crops such as maise, rice and cassava.
“There is quite clearly now a policy , which has been implemented of giving large tracts of arable land for the purposes of biofuel agriculture. That is unacceptable because there has been no public debate about it.”
Mr Teixera says mechanisation is still not used in East Timor when it comes to crop production.
He says it would be extremely difficult for these people to make the transformation to large scale agriculture.
East Timor is currently experiencing a food crisis like much of Asia.
Mr Teixera says the focus should be on addressing the food shortage rather than producing bio fuels.