Small fish are a common food and an integral part of the everyday carbohydraterich diets of many population groups in poor countries. These populations also suffer from undernutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies – the hidden hunger. Small fish species, as well as the little oil, vegetables and spices with which they are cooked enhance diet diversity. Small fish are a rich source of animal protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
The marine fisheries surrounding the half-island of Timor-Leste account for over 90% of the country’s total fish production. But capture fisheries alone will not be sufficient to meet the country’s growing fish demand.
In response, the Government of Timor-Leste is looking inland to boost fish supply, by encouraging rural families to farm fish for home consumption and commercial scale.