The productivity of maize on Timor Island (<2.5 tonnes/ha) is significantly lower than that at the national level (>3.5 tonnes/ha) due to a combination of agronomic, climatic, edaphic and social-related factors. This study explores the availability of production and marketing of local maize in Kupang and Timor Tengah Selatan districts by analysing maize availability (quantity, quality and seasonality), prices, and local markets (suppliers, supply and demand behaviour and distribution systems). The study uses data from a survey of 49 farmers, collectors, retailers and inter-island traders, as well as secondary sources. In general, farmers were found to be in a weak bargaining position in the value chain, isolated from market information and mechanisms related to their commodity. Based on the survey findings, the study recommends that extension services are improved to provide better information to farmers on how to produce quality maize and improve storage facilities and marketing efficiency. Further, it suggests that marketing and technology strategies are improved using participatory approaches. The study calls for further investigation into the establishment of maize farmer cooperatives to support collective marketing, bulk purchasing of inputs and access to credit and information.

All photographic images on this site were taken by the Collins Higgins Consulting teams during the EI-ADO project activities. Reproduction should note their source as Collins Higgins Consulting.