Building Agribusiness
Capacity in East Timor
BACET  2006-2011

Empowered the next generation of technicians, entry-level managers and entrepreneurs within Timor Leste’s agricultural sector

In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Building Agribusiness Capacity in East Timor (BACET) program supported agribusiness education and provided technical training for students of the country’s three agriculture high schools, Dom Bosco School in Fuiloro, and two Eskola Teknika Agricola’s (Technical Agricultural Schools) in Maliana and Natarbora. The goals were to strengthen Timor-Leste’s agricultural economy, create businesses and promote economic growth and employment.

Land O'Lakes International Development created a standardized core agribusiness curriculum at the three schools with emphasis on student center teaching and developing skills in agricultural mechanics, livestock/animal husbandry, agribusiness, horticulture, computers and English. The combination of exposure to actual business operations (through the dairy, poultry, goat and horticulture businesses at the schools), along with research and study of operating businesses, prepared graduates to become proficient technicians, entry-level managers and entrepreneurs within Timor Leste’s agricultural sector. Secondarily, BACET created awareness around sustainable agriculture, business ethics, gender equality and healthy lifestyles that supported the creation of strong community members.

By the program’s third year, BACET had graduated 241 students. Additionally, BACET was actively involved in assisting students in job placement and establishing an employment center that offered interview coaching and classes in curriculum vitae preparation. In 2009, BACET also piloted a hands-on internship program, allowing students to gain independent work experience (and sharpen their new skills) within an existing organization or business in the agriculture sector.