Better Farmer Organisations for Timor Leste

The Asosiasaun Nasional Produtor Fini Komersial (ANAPROFIKO) is a young organisation with a big job. It was established in 2015, as part of the Timor Leste Seeds of Life project, to act as the conduit between the government and the community seed producers. However, when the Seeds of Life project ended in mid-2016, ANAPROFIKO found itself struggling to work out what its purpose was and with no finance and procurement policy in place, it was struggling to function effectively.

Upon joining the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network and the MTCP2 programme in late 2016 it immediately found itself in the situation of not qualifying for its full release of funds because of the lack of financial systems. A first step was obviously to get these systems in place, so the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network organised a one-to-one technical exchange with their Finance Manager, Aneet Kumar.

Similar in concept to the farmer-to-farmer learning exchanges, this could be termed a finance-to-finance learning exchange that saw Aneet travel to Timor Leste and work with the ANAPROFIKO secretariat to develop their finance policies and templates. With their systems now in place, further funding could be released and it didn’t take long before ANAPROFIKO was receiving, managing and acquitting their full funding allotment.

With their internal systems now working well and some funding to do their work, ANAPROFIKO has been able to focus on delivering services to its members. As a result of this, it has seen a remarkable 25% increase in total members over the past two years. Many of the new members have been women and their member gender ratio has shifted from 85:15 men to women in 2015-16, to a 65:35 ratio in 2017-18.

Of course it hasn’t stopped there, and ANAPROFIKO has gone on to manage the funds for many other projects and is also working with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations to utilise the existing Timor Leste seeds network to help implement a sustainable agriculture project. Not only has ANAPROFIKO found its way financially, it has worked out how to keep on serving its members once the original project ends.

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