Full Silos Project

Posted: 7-19-12

Timor Leste imports millions of dollars per year of rice and corn (mainly rice) from countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.  However, Manufahi is a very fertile and relatively underpopulated district and has the capacity to produce a huge surplus of food, if the farmers only had an economic incentive to produce surpluses.

So the aim of our “Full Silos” project is to establish centralised facilities for storage and marketing of rice and corn, to bridge the supply and demand which exists even within this one district.  We will open our doors and set a baseline price for anyone who wants to sell us corn or rice.   We will attempt to solve the problem of long term storage of corn, which mains primarily the problem of weevils, and secondarily mould.  We will package and market the grain in the standard woven plastic sacks under our own brand.  We will conduct proper quality control when purchasing grain.  The main initial demand will come from the District level Government for supply to the 400 public servants.

The District Administrator, Sr Filomeno Tilman, has identified commercialisation of food production as a priority for the district.  He has long had a dream to re-establish the programme whereby all public servants get given a sack of rice per month by the government as a supplement to their salary.  He is keenly interested and supportive of this project.

I’m interested in anyone who has knowledge of corn weevils and corn storage techniques in tropical environments.  We’re experimenting with both bidons (tin or steel drums) and sacks and large silos.  I’ve gotten great help from Samuel Bacon.  Also, grateful for the help I’ve gotten from Jenny Kanaley.  I’ve also amassed a certain amount of knowledge of corn storage if anyone else wants to know what I’ve been able to find out so far.

You can contact me on:  tim@edval.com.au   or   +61488 084136.