As East Timor's economy grows, the demand for livestock products is also expected to grow. Now is an ideal time to support development of the smallholder cattle sector, thereby increasing beef production for human consumption, farmers' incomes from domestic cattle sales and, in the longer-term, financial returns from live cattle export sales to Indonesia. But the majority of farmers and support agency staff are under-skilled, thus limiting identification and adoption of better cattle management practices.
This project aimed to use a whole-of-chain approach to initiate a shift in East Timor smallholder beef farming practices. The intention was to assist farmers to move from being mostly livestock keepers to becoming producers with better market access. It is the first stage of a 10-year program.