DILI, 31 July 2020 (TATOLI)-The Representative of the World Food Program (WFP) Dengeng Liu, revealed on Thursday that a report they produced shows that TL is continuing to import 90% of its rice from abroad in the last 20 years because of low quantity of local food.
”it is very important to consume Timor-Leste’s own food. Still, Timor-Leste is very dependent on international rice imports, TL does, however, produce many nutritious foods such as corn, cassava, potatoes and other vegetables,”Dengeng Liu informed the jounalists during the meeting at Timor Plaza.
WFP and it’s partnership with the European Union (EU), Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and other NGOs conducted a study which showcased a 25% nutritional gap in the nutrition criteria.
The Secretary of Social and Communications TL Mericio Juvinal dos Reis “Akara”, said the Government is proud of the WFP and their work over 20 years in TL.
”We should be proud of them because they are always with us and we should share this information with the community to update and help them to develop their programs better,” he said.
The Government is currently focusing efforts towards the economy for a post-COVID-19 world, and this
economic recovery will have a focus on food for the vulnerable groups in TL.
A report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery (MAF), States that every year TL continues to import a total of 80 tonnes of rice from abroad as Timor-Leste only produces 80 tonnes of rice per year.
The reason Timor-Leste is continuing to import rice from abroad is because of the recorded population in TL is 1.2 million based on the 2015 census, and according to WFP calculation, a person consumes 250 gram of rice per day, thus for one month they need 90 kilograms. The number is multiplied to the total population in Timor-Leste, every year TL consume 103 tonnes of rice.
Timor-Leste mostly imports rice from Vietnam and Thailand.
Journalist: Felicidade Ximenes
Editor : Agapito dos Santos/Nick Kettle
Translation: Nelia Borges