Press release: Government to launch nation-wide Aquaculture Development Strategy


EMBARGOED until 09:30am, Monday 23 September 2013

Government to launch nation-wide Aquaculture Development Strategy 

The government of Timor-Leste will launch its National Aquaculture Development Strategy designed to increase food and nutrition security, diversify livelihoods, andboost income for rural communities throughout the country.

His Excellency Mr. Mariano ASSANAMI Sabino, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, will announce the strategy at a launching ceremony on Monday 23 September at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Dili.

Spanning from 2012 to 2030, the strategy supports the development of small and medium sized aquaculture businesses,and combined agriculture-aquaculture farms for household use.

Both inland and coastal regions will benefit from the planned development, with mariculture and brackish water aquaculture a key focus for coastal communities.

Through nation-wide development, the strategy predicts that by 2030 aquaculture will provide up to 40% of the country’s overall fish production.

By increasing the production of fish it aims to raise the annual per capita consumption of fish from it’s current rate of 6.1kg up to 15kg by 2020, which is much closer to the global average.

Fish contain high levels ofanimal protein and micronutrients thatare essential for a balanced diet and good health, particularly for women and children.

Sustainable fish farms will provide families with a much-neededsource of income, food, and nutrition.

Mr. Lourenco Borges Fontes, Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will deliver the opening address at the ceremony, followed byan overview of the strategy by His Excellency Mr. Rafael Pereira Goncalves, Secretary of State for Fisheries.

Government ministers and representatives from major development partners, embassies, international NGOs and private sectors will also be in attendance.

Designed in harmony with the country’s Strategic Development Plan (2011-2030), the strategy was developed with assistance from WorldFish, a nonprofit research organizationand member of CGIAR.

Financial supportwas provided by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development through a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations trust-fund project, The Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme (RFLP) for South and Southeast Asia, and the USAID funded Coral Triangle Support Partnership led in Timor-Leste by Conservation International, with partners The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

National Directorate of Fisheries and aquaculture, MAF, with assistance from theNew Zealand Aid Programme,WorldFish and NIWA, is currently developing  thestrategy implementation plan. A coordinated effort by Government, farmers, l/NGOs, development partners and private sectors  is essential for the successful implementation of the strategy.