Introduction. Food Security Is A Fundamental And Growing

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Food security is a fundamental and growing problem in Timor-Leste, a nation that has is still rebuilding from their violent struggle for independence. The country’s turbulent and conflict-filled history, as well as a broad range of political and social issues, have greatly influenced the state of the nation today. Timor-Leste has a well-established dependency on agricultural production that, when it fails, sustains some of the highest levels of food insecurity and poverty in the world. However, the agriculture sector also provides Timor-Leste’s most promising opportunity to develop, reinvent, and implement systems that address underlying threats to food security and economic growth. This essay aims to provide some background
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These weather events highlight one of the greatest threats to food security in Timor-Leste: climate change. With more than 80% of the Timorese population working as subsistence farmers (Williams et al., 2013), many families are at-risk as a result of their reliance on agricultural outputs. Predictions are that by 2050, Timor-Leste’s climate will become approximately 1.5°C hotter and 10% wetter and that the population is set to triple (Molyneux et al., 2012). This unprecedented increase in population size will place an even greater burden on an already strained food system. The sudden shift in weather patterns will also have an unpredictable impact on climate sensitive and socially essential resources such as soil and water (Barnett et al., 2007), as well as shocking coastal communities that are reliant on aquatic ecosystems (Valmonte-Santos et al., 2016).

Since independence, Timor-Leste’s traditional agricultural systems have undergone few significant changes (Molyneux et al., 2012) and evidence has shown that Timor-Leste’s adoption rates of new agricultural technology are relatively low, despite the massive potential for yield improvements that could help to alleviate food insecurity (Jensen et al., 2014). Contemporary cropping technologies and chemical fertilizers cannot be easily accessed or afforded by the majority of subsistence farmers and as such they are rarely utilised.
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