To establish a local sourcing mechanism for NCF to meet its demand for a variety of vegetables
NCF was established in February 2015 to supply horticulture products to Dili based supermarkets with plans to expand into sales of meats (chicken and cattle) and fish in the near future. The company is managed by Mrs. Hergui Luina Fernandes Alves, a female entrepreneur, and is located in Mascarinhas village, Vera Cruz, sub district of Dili. The company enjoys a working network with local restaurants and one of the largest supermarkets in the country- W Four. The standing order from W- Four to supply vegetables and fruits (strawberries) is an important first step for the company to get involved in the horticulture market in Timor-Leste.
NCF understands the presence of a growing demand for horticulture products in the country as well as the need for having a strong supply chain to ensure regular supply of products to the market. To support this vision, NCF seeks to organise a strong supply chain based on working closely with farmers in Aileu in order to secure a steady and good quality supply of vegetables, closely aligned with demand from the market.
Since inception, the company has tried out a few ways of engaging and working with farmers to supply against market demand. This has involved distribution of some Agricultural inputs on credit, such as vegetable seeds, plastic tunnels and plastic mulch to some farmers. NCF has also tried to provide limited information on cultivation and usage of inputs. However, none of these initiatives have been successful as NCF lacks the capacity to provide technical support to improve productivity of farmers to meet the quantity and quality of products as required by NCF (which is further set by their buyers).
NCF has a viable business plan centered on strong domestic demand of vegetables. However their inability to capitalise on this demand is restricting the growth of the business. Considering this, MDF would like to support this partner to develop a strong plan for sourcing vegetables to supply against existing and new demand. Further strengthening the plan, MDF would like to assist NCF in improving its capacity to provide inputs and its usage information to farmers (working with NCF) in order to ensure consistency of quality and quantity supplied.