People are drawn to the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) practice in Timor-Leste as if it were a magnet. FMNR was introduced to the Aileu area in 2011 by Tony Rinaudo. Today there have been many visitors to this thriving FMNR site.
World Vision Timor-Leste has hosted a number of visit from donors, development partners, government and community to the Manuel da Silva’s site. He is one of the local FMNR champions that World Vision Timor-Leste has supported and he has been the innovator for the successful FMNR implementation in Timor-Leste, especially Aileu municipality. He has regenerated trees on his own land and has seen an improvement to his land and produce – like the pineapples pictured.
Some farmers in another village in Aileu have followed the steps of Manuel. They have cared for their own land and created the coffee plantations on terraces.
“I was very surprised when I saw Manuel’s land, trees and other plants growing in a neat and fertile environment, in that moment I thought to immediately implement on my land,” said Tomas Soares, one of farmer who has followed Manuel’s steps. He adds that after returning from there, he immediately implemented the FMNR system into his coffee plantations and the coffee give him better results compared to previous years.
The FMNR model is already widely known by government and non-government agencies. Because of this World Vision Timor-Leste has organised various events which demonstrate the benefits to people who are practicing FMNR in their area, such as organised field days for other farmers from other villages and field visit from government, development partners and universities students to visit Manuel’s FMNR site to demonstrate FMNR can benefit them in short, medium and long term.
The government itself and Global Climate Change Alliance (GIZ) have visited the FMNR site and they provided 2,300 seedlings of trees to FMNR farmer group in Aileu municipality. They wish to replicate the model in their existing program and to other districts of Timor-Leste and involve Manuel as a mentor for their community groups.