Between 2018 and 2022, rice production in Timor-Leste more than doubled, while the area devoted to the crop grew by almost 47%, according to unreleased government data seen by the Portuguese news agency Lusa.
The figures show that the rice production in Timor-Leste – the country's staple food – rose from 40,276 tons in 2018 to 85,804 tons in 2022, or an increase of more than 113 percent.
During the four-year period, the area under rice cultivation increased from over 20,290 hectares to almost 37,700 hectares, while yield per hectare jumped from 3.3 tons in 2018 to 4.1 tons in 2022.
The government says the improvements "may have been influenced by improvements in crop management and irrigation practices, as well as better weather conditions".
Timor last conducted an agricultural census in 2019 and found that almost all farmers were working with smallholdings of less than one hectare.
"Most farmers cultivate for their own consumption or to exchange with other local producers. The commercialization of agricultural products is limited due to the lack of infrastructure and access to markets", says the government.