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Report on the mission to Timor Leste from 26th February to 9th March 2002

Ollivier L., Bonneau X.. 2002. Montpellier : CIRAD-CP, 41 p.. numero_rapport: CP_SIC 1473.

Regarding the sanitary condition in coconut plantings, we have confirmed identity of the pest damaging them: the scale insect Aspidiotus destructor. The main focus is located at Baucau, but attacks have been identified on the northern coast. In the absence of efficient natural predators, the pest can eventually destroy much or all of the existing coconut plantings, as was seen in the town of Baucau. We propose immediate intervention, involving the introduction of exotic predators (ladybirds) which have been shown to be effective in other countries. A work timetable is proposed, involving several stages: - installation of a laboratory for mass production of ladybirds at Baucau, - collection of ladybirds in their country of origin, - shipment of collected individuals to Timor Leste, - scale insect production for ladybird rearing, - mass production of ladybirds at Baucau, - release of the predators in the attack focus, - verification of pest control efficiency. The general conditon of coconut commodity has been described. It is desorganized since the departure of the Indonesians in 1999 whereas it exists a substantial development potential for coconut in Timor Leste. Here again an action plan is proposed with the aim of making a contribution towards meeting the national requirements for fats and oils and other coconut products. The starting point is a basic study of the commodity chain that would enable several technically reliable and economically valid projects to be defined. These could relate to: - the improvement of oil extraction methods used in cottage industry, - a small oil-mill for copra linked to one or a few small processing units. - a plan for replanting and extending coconut plantations in zones judged to be appropriate for the crop, using performing planting material and appropriate cultural techniques. The creation of a station for research and experimentation in agriculture and forestry is another possible project. Its mission should primarily concern applied research themes that respond to the needs of the rural communities, extension work and training. From the outset, the set up of this station should allow it to be versatile, working first of all on the priority activities (such as plant protection for coconut, improvement of coffee cultivation or sandalwood). The report also indicates to what extent the CIRAD could assist in carrying out these two plans of action.

Mots-clés : cocos nucifera; timor oriental

Rapport de mission

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