NCBA - National Cooperative Business Association

04/30/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/30/2024 12:07

NCBA CLUSA’s new USAID-funded activity in Timor Leste will advance food security and nutrition

Timor Leste President José Ramos-Horta (center) joins Minister of Agriculture Marcos da Cruz (second from right) and U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Marc Weinstock (second from left) at the launch event. [photo: U.S. Embassy in Timor Leste]NCBA CLUSA is pleased to announce the launch of its new U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded activity to enhance nutrition and strengthen food security in Timor Leste.

The $15 million, five-year Avansa Sistema Aihan no Nutrisaun (Avansa SAN) activity will promote climate-smart agricultural practices, crop diversification, support for small and medium-sized agri-food enterprises, community-based campaigns on dietary diversity, and advocacy for healthy habits to improve overall nutritional well-being. The activity will also provide tailored assistance to smallholder farmers and women, with a focus on pregnant women with children under five to ensure greater access to nutritious diets.

NCBA CLUSA joined Timor Leste President José Ramos-Horta, the country's Minister of Agriculture Marcos da Cruz and U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Marc Weinstock at the launch event in March.

"The Avansa SAN activity is especially timely as it builds on previous U.S. Government investments in the agriculture sector and takes it several steps further to underscore the urgency of combating malnutrition-especially among women and children under five years old," Weinstock said at the event.

With its focus on elevating nutritional standards and bolstering food security, Avansa SAN reflects the nation's overarching development objectives. A press release from the U.S. Embassy in Timor Leste said the United States is "pleased to continue collaborating with the Government of Timor-Leste at both national and local levels to accelerate the strengthening of local food systems."

President Ramos-Horta also welcomed the activity, noting that rural agricultural growth and sustainability is central to the country's development priorities.

The activity will focus on pregnant women with children under five to ensure greater access to nutritious diets.

"I think everyone in Timor-Leste already knows [that] my number one concern is agriculture, food security and nutrition so that we can eliminate undernutrition for children," he said in an official press release.

Implemented by NCBA CLUSA in collaboration with 27 farmers' groups across 14 villages in the municipalities of Aileu, Ainaro, Dili and Ermera, Avansa SAN will "rejuvenate the path towards progress, prosperity, and improved nutritional well-being," the U.S. Embassy in Timor Leste said.

For more than 70 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in 100+ countries in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, building resilient communities, creating economic opportunities and strengthening cooperatives. Our work empowers smallholder farmers, women and youth in the areas of food security and nutrition-led agriculture, climate-smart agriculture, market development, natural resources management, positive youth development, gender equality and enabling regulatory environments. We envision a world where people have the knowledge, resources and authority to build prosperity for themselves and future generations.