Jen Hardy, CRS’ Asia regional information officer, recently traveled to East Timor, where she saw an exciting project CRS is carrying out with the U.S. Agency for International Development to improve the cultivation and marketing of candlenuts. A new candlenut tree doesn’t produce for 5 to 7 years, so the fathers and grandfathers planting them do so with the knowledge that they are providing for the next generation.
Jen writes about Inacio dos Santos, a farmer and family man who owns a small plot of land, where he grows food for the family table and candlenuts as a cash crop.
“CRS has long helped farmers in East Timor organize into associations to sell their candlenuts at a better price, improve the quality of their harvest and start nurseries to grow new trees, which the group distributes to other members,” she writes. “It’s the prospect of new trees and future harvests that excites Inacio and group members.
“‘I have planted 70 new trees,’ says Inacio—nearly double his original plot of 40 trees. ‘I planted them for the next generation. My children and grandchildren will benefit from more income.’”
USAID has produced this video of the candlenut project.