Livestock Systems

Smallholder cattle enterprise development in Timor Leste

Project code
AUD 2,999,216
Research program manager
Dr Anna Okello
Project leader
Geoffry Fordyce - University of Queensland
FEB 2016
MAR 2021
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project is increasing the income of smallholder crop-livestock farmers and market chain operators in Timor Leste through more efficient, commercially-oriented cattle production and improved access to markets. 

A large proportion of the Timor Leste cattle industry is based on low-input, low-output systems on over-utilised and degraded communal land. 

Opportunities exist to capitalise on the cultural importance of cattle, and the wealth they can generate if managed and marketed better, by transitioning to more commercial production systems. 

Demand for slaughter cattle has increased strongly in urban areas such as Dili, providing a strong basis for commercially-oriented beef production. 

This project will provide proof that commercially-oriented smallholder cattle production and marketing is profitable, is adopted by farmers and other beef supply chain participants, and paves the way for out-scaling. 

A core strategy will be the creation of Beef Systems Development groups, including members from private sector production and supply chains and local government advisory staff. 

Participatory action research to improve productivity and market research to strengthen farmer-market linkages will be facilitated within these groups.  

Expected project outcomes

  • Potential to double the net household income derived from cattle production and trading, with opportunity available irrespective of socio-economic status.
  • Increased capacity of the Timor Leste beef cattle research and development sector.
  • Demonstrated shift from traditional to commercial cattle production systems.
  • Increased availability of beef in Timor Leste. 
Key partners
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
National University of Timor Lorosa e
University of Mataram
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact sheet LPS/2014/038