CRS Rice Bowl 
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  • Helping Families Provide Food for themselves

    Timor-Leste has the highest rate of child malnutrition in Asia with almost half of children under five stunted (low height for age). Research shows that rates of exclusive breastfeeding vary widely across the country (28-75%) and there is a lack of dietary diversity with only 13% of children under two years consuming a minimum acceptable diet. On a national level, widespread poor growth is attributed to limited availability of nutritional foods and high child illness burden. In Timor-Leste, subsistence agriculture is the main livelihood strategy for the majority of the rural population. Subsistence in Timor-Leste is predominantly plant-based, with staple crops including rice, cassava, maize and beans. The country is food insecure, thus household nutritional security is difficult to achieve.


  • Evo and Nelson

    Evo, 7, and Nelson, 5, in front of their house in Maubisse, Timor-Leste. Their father, Miguel Conçâo Da Costa, 52, is a coffee farmer taking part of a coffee farming cooperative called COCAMAU with 592 members. He has 10 children and joined the cooperative in 2012. The cooperative provided training on how to maintain, manage and replant aging coffee trees resulting in increased production and field expansion. The People Trade Company, a Japanese NGO, purchases coffee beans from local farmers and markets them for distribution. They participate in the CRS Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) project which provides technical assistance to farmers like Miguel and his family.

    Photo by Anny Djahova/Catholic Relief Services