Press Release: Second national aquaculture forum takes place in Timor-Leste

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DILI, TIMOR-LESTE - August 8 2019 – Over 100 aquaculture stakeholders will gather today at the second National Aquaculture Forum in Dili, Timor-Leste, to discuss ways to continue developing the growing aquaculture sector to strengthen the country’s food and nutrition security.

The event supports the Timor-Leste National Aquaculture Development Strategy (2012–2030), which aims to increase fish production to 12,000 tons per year by 2030 and reduce malnutrition by increasing fish consumption from 6.1 kg to 15 kg person/year over the same period. The forum, held at Timor Plaza Hotel, will provide a platform for stakeholders to share their research and development experiences and identify opportunities for fostering partnerships in aquaculture development in Timor-Leste.

H. E. Eng. Joáquim José Gusmão dos Reis Martins, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Timor-Leste: “Developing aquaculture is a key priority for the Government of Timor-Leste. Increasing the production of fish will ensure that rural households have greater access to an affordable, nutritious source of animal protein and have an alternative livelihood option. The government is committed to fostering strong partnerships among aquaculture stakeholders to realize its development targets.”

The forum is organized by the Partnership for Aquaculture Development in Timor-Leste (PADTL) project funded by New Zealand Aid and managed by the CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH) led by WorldFish in partnership with the Timor-Leste Government.

H.E. Philip Hewitt, New Zealand Ambassador to Timor-Leste : “Since 2014, the PADTL project has supported the Timor-Leste Government to develop aquaculture following a holistic approach. This is by developing sustainable seed and feed systems and a suitable farmer training method, and building the capacity of MAF and other partners. These efforts have laid the foundation for the scaling out of the approach—and public and private sector partners have key complementary roles in achieving this.”

The forum brings together over 100 participants from diverse backgrounds, including government, trade and investment, commercial banks, academics, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, development agencies, farmers and fishers. The forum, which will be held annually from 2020, follows the country’s first aquaculture forum in 2017.

Dr. Gareth Johnstone, Director General, WorldFish: “Fish are essential to Timor-Leste’s development strategy, and the country has made huge strides in boosting its aquaculture sector in recent years. The National Aquaculture Forum is a great opportunity to share the successes and lessons learned so far, and strengthen the partnerships necessary to ensure sustainable aquaculture fulfils its potential to improve food and nutrition across the country.”

Press contact

For more information or to request an interview:
Contact: Dr. Jharendu Pant, Senior Scientist, Sustainable Aquaculture, WorldFish

About the project

Over the last five years, the PADTL project, implemented jointly by MAF and WorldFish, has demonstrated the success of aquaculture in Timor-Leste. This is by establishing the GIFT hatchery in Gleno and introducing the rotational breeding of cohorts to maintain genetic quality. In addition, the project has tested and validated sustainable tilapia aquaculture technologies for Timor-Leste, with the aim to contribute toward developing a self-sustaining aquaculture industry that improves nutrition, food security, and rural livelihood. Critical to all this work has been the capacity building of aquaculture staff at the National Directorate of Aquaculture (NDA), MAF.

About WorldFish

WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce hunger and poverty. Globally, more than one billion poor people obtain most of their animal protein from fish and 800 million depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

About FISH

Pursuing a research agenda through a network of multistakeholder partners, the CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH) enhances the contributions of fisheries and aquaculture to reducing poverty and improving food security and nutrition. FISH is led by WorldFish, together with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, Australia; the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at the University of Greenwich, England and Wageningen University & Research (WUR), Netherlands. In regional contexts, the program partners closely with governments, NGOs, the private sector and research organizations to influence national, regional and global policy and development practice.