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João Gomes receives a two-wheel tractor from ANAPROFIKO President, Ilidio Mendonca and staff at the farmer organisation office IMAGE: ANAPROFIKO
Two-wheel tractors are expected to change the landscape for Timor-Leste farmers in more ways than one; the types of crops farmers grow, the cost to grow them, and the amount of income from crop sales and agricultural services.
João Gomes, a farmer and member of ANAPROFIKO previously used a traditional farming system with an ox and plow on his land, but now he is extending his agricultural products by using a tractor.
“We used our forefathers’ method of farming and we cultivated to feed our family first but after using this technology, we plan to use our barren land and increase our supply the local market.”
A two-wheel tractor can use a full range of implements such as cultivator, grain drill, reaper and trailer that help a farmer in all steps of the farming process. And a tractor is much cheaper to own and operate than an ox-drawn plow.
“These two-wheel tractors are replacing our traditional ox-drawn plow, increasing efficiency and mechanising our farm production,”João Gomes said.
He hopes to increase his family income by plowing other farmers’ land and purchasing his own two-wheel tractor to serve his village and extend his business.
While four-wheel tractors are more appropriate for large fields, two-wheel tractors are very effective in small plots and can be used for intercropping where spaces are narrow. The cost to own and operate a two-wheel tractor is much lower, with simpler repair and maintenance.
The tractor handover was done by ANAPROFIK President, Ilidio Mendonca and funded by the Farmers’ Organizations for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific – FO4ACP Programme, a joint partnership between the European Union, Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON).