DILI, 09 november 2023 (TATOLI) – The FAO Deputy Representative for Timor-Leste, Paula Lopes da Cruz, said that the FAO has been supporting Timor-Leste through its program that provides policy assistance and technical support to government institutions, relevant organizations, and communities to address food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition in the country.
She said that FAO has been supporting Timor-Leste in combating food insecurity and hunger by creating job opportunities for young people, increasing food production and nutrition, and promoting sustainable management of natural resources: “FAO’s programs align with Timor-Leste’s National Food and Nutrition Security Policy.”
Lopes said that the FAO program has been implemented in 30 villages across 10 municipalities and will be extended to another 46 villages in the country.
She said that FAO has employed 30 agricultural extension staff to work in the 10 municipalities to help communities improve farming practices and livelihoods to boost local food production.
These staff support the local farmers with the techniques and methods to increase crop yield including efficient crop management, seasonal soil care, crop rotation practices, and so on.
Lopes added that with the support of the agricultural extension staff in improving the communities’ agricultural system, the communities are now able to increase food production, for example, they can now produce six tons of rice per hectare: “There has been a significant increase in corn and rice production in Viqueque and Natarbora of Manatuto municipality.”
Timor-Leste ranks 112 out of 125 countries on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2023, scoring 29.9 based on rates of undernourishment, wasting, stunting, and child mortality.
The ranking puts Timor-Leste as the hungriest country in the Southeast Asia region behind Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, and Singapore.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins