2013

Improving the Lot of the Farmer: Development Challenges in Timor-Leste during the Second Decade of Independence

Reprint No. 2013:23

Author(s): Mats Lundahl and Fredrik SjöholmYear: 2013 Title: Asian Economic Papers Volume (No.): 12 (2) Pages: 71–96
Preliminary version

Improving the Lot of the Farmer: Development Challenges in Timor-Leste during the Second Decade of Independence Mats Lundahl and Fredrik Sjöholm


Large segments of the rural Timorese population survive on subsistence farming characterized by simple production methods and low output. Broad-based improvements in Timorese living standards require increased agricultural output. This article discusses what determines agricultural development in Timor-Leste and how such development can be achieved. The main causes of low agricultural output are found to be scarcity of land and capital, poor technology and education, and lack of government support, such as extension services and provision of infrastructure.We construct a model of an agricultural household to examine how increased market incentives will affect agricultural output and incomes. The effects of different price changes on household production, consumption, sales, income, and leisure are investigated. We find that the objective of increasing the living standard of Timorese farmers may in part be achieved via increased earning opportunities outside agriculture.


Reference:
Lundahl, Mats and Fredrik Sjöholm (2013), "Improving the Lot of the Farmer: Development Challenges in Timor-Leste during the Second Decade of Independence". Asian Economic Papers 12(2), 71–96.

Fredrik Sjöholm

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