On the 26th and 27th of November, the shop “Pateo” hosted an exhibition of East Timorese typical products. It is a way to promote local products and to disseminate their properties and different ways to be used.

The flower of papaya – a good preventive remedy for malaria – was one of the products displayed in this commercial area of Dili. Babasan, Bayam, varian and banana flower and various other vegetables were also available to the public at this exhibition, which also included the distribution of leaflets.

It was an initiative with immediate practical results, as the weekly list of orders for these products increased considerably from this moment on.

In what concerns the origin of the products, all of them have being produced in Maubara in the District of Liquica, where IMVF and the ETADEP Foundation built and are streamlining a Unit for the Provision of Agricultural Services (UPSA).

In a country where more than 70% of the villages suffer from food shortages and approximately 33% of the population lives on subsistence agriculture, the UPSA represents a major increase and qualification of the local agricultural offer, thereby raising the possibility of being sold.

Currently UPSA integrates an agricultural shop – opened in September to provide agricultural inputs to local producers – and in partnership with Cluster “Mós Bele”, an agricultural processing plant, and also the Fruit Shop of Maubara – responsible for the distribution of products, which have the business label “Fini Diak”.

The remaining production of the associated farmers is delivered to Pateo, but also at the Portuguese School, Kmaneg and traditional markets and bazaars.

These initiatives have been developed under the project “Streamlining Local Markets and Trading Circuits” that already benefits more than 50 farmers, a total of 6000 square metres of plantations.

Do you know that?

The East Timor daily diet is very plant-based and there is a great use of almost everything given by the land. In Tetum the word “modo” is given to everything that comes with rice, which is the staple food of East Timor. In the exhibition some of the most commonly products used as “modo”, namely “modo fila” – which are stir-fried vegetables – were presented, whole or sliced, alone and mixed – that are fried in the pan with oil / olive oil and garlic and, of course, seasoned with aimanas (a Timorese hot spice):

“Babasan” – a plant leaf which is consumed, and which is found in Maubara. It can be eaten alone or mixed with kangkung.
“Varia” – of the cucumber family. Available in many varieties, with more or less rough bark or more or less dark green. It is a good preventive of malaria and is usually boiled and then fried, alone or with other vegetables.
“Bayam” – of the Amaranthus family, said to be able to replace spinach and is very rich in vitamin A and C. It can be eaten alone or with papaya flower.
Papaya Flower – also a good preventive of malaria. Before being salted has to be boiled. It can then be consumed alone or mixed with Bayamo, kangkung and / or banana flower and / or cassava leaves.

This is a project funded by the Portuguese Cooperation and integrated into the cluster “Mos Bele”.

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