WHAT IS TOMAK?
TOMAK (To’os ba Moris Di’ak, or Farming for Prosperity) is an agricultural livelihoods program supported by the Australian Government in Timor-Leste. We are working closely with government, NGO and private sector partners to increase capacity for Timorese communities to confidently and ably engage in profitable agricultural markets. At the same time, TOMAK is supporting efforts to establish a foundation of food security and good nutrition for farming families using a variety of approaches. TOMAK is a 5-year program that began in 2016 and will continue until 2021, with an option to continue for a further five years.
The target area for TOMAK includes inland mid-altitude areas that have some irrigation capacity. This zone includes around 80 suku (villages) located mainly in the Maliana basin (including most of Bobonaro), the eastern mountain regions (including most of Baucau and Viqueque), as well as parts of Lautem, Manatuto, and Oecussi. Regional offices in Baucau, Maliana, Viqueque (and potentially Oecussi) are allowing TOMAK to deepen its engagement with communities and partners, and ensure local ownership of TOMAK activities.
TOMAK is intentionally flexible and enabling. While we strive to achieve ambitious outcomes and recommend the use of particular approaches, the details of ‘what, where and how’ are constantly being developed and reviewed by the TOMAK team.
Adam Smith International (Australia) Pty Ltd (ASI), in partnership with Mercy Corps, was awarded the contract for management of TOMAK in 2016.
THE MEANING OF TOMAK
In Tetum (the national language of Timor-Leste), ‘To’os ba Moris Di’ak‘ means ‘Farming for Prosperity’ or for a good life. The abbreviated ‘TOMAK‘ is another Tetum word meaning ‘whole’.
TOMAK is a broad program, engaging with many aspects of farming life. Our logo is a visual representation of ‘wholeness’ and optimism for a more prosperous future. We can imagine a cluster of houses positioned around a strong village centre, or a family sitting and eating a nutritious meal together. The motif is also reminiscent of patterns found in Timorese ‘tais‘, a traditional woven fabric often featuring complex, multi-coloured designs.
Whilst green is the favoured colour for many agricultural programs, TOMAK has embraced bold purple hues. Purple reflects the program’s strong commitment to principles of gender equality and social inclusion. It is also the colour of nutritious sweet potatoes grown across Timor-Leste, and is favoured in tais designs of certain regions.