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East Timor's development dilemma

Agriculturalist Peter Dougan visits a farm he is assisting in East Timor's highlands. (Photo by Hamish McDonald)

GLENO, East Timor -- As we drive along a potholed road leading out of this little town into the cool highlands of East Timor, Peter Dougan stops to look at coffee berries laid out to dry on tarpaulins by local growers.

Dougan, an Australian agriculturalist, points to the variety of colors, from green to reddish, among the berries -- a sign of unselective picking that includes fruit not yet ripe enough to give the best coffee from the bean inside. The colors also indicate poor soil nutrition around bushes that have been allowed to grow untrimmed and unfertilized.

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