Rui transforms his livelihood with sustainable techniques
Rui, 35, became involved in BRACCE in 2013. He received seedlings, farming tools and training in FMNR, terracing and tree nursery management. As a lead community farmer, he also went to Indonesia to learn about coffee pruning.
Rui originally learned about coffee farming from his father and his grandfather before him. They would let the trees grow tall, then sell off their beans to producers in Dili.
Income varied depending on the season, but if Rui grew one tonne of coffee he would make about US$350 for the year.
After Rui saw the success of pruning older coffee trees in Indonesia, he pruned his trees right back. Everyone was shocked.
But gradually, it became clear how much more coffee Rui was growing. People started asking how to follow his techniques, and Rui happily shared his knowledge.
In 2015, Rui also became part of a local coffee cooperative. The 25 members (15 men and 10 women) produce their own coffee using machines provided by World Vision.
Before, Rui's only income was at harvest time. Now, Rui and his wife Teresa earn a regular income by selling coffee at the local market.
“Before, I had a coffee plantation. I only grew it. But now we can collect, produce and sell it ourselves,” Rui says.
Each member of the cooperative earns an income proportionate to what they grow. Because Rui is such an active member, he and Teresa earn around US$200 per month. In a very good month, they can earn US$400.