Being one of the least-developed countries in the world, Timor-Leste has a 40% population living below poverty line and an economy relying on government and international donor assistance.
To help address this issue, SEAFDEC/AQD and the Agricultural Cooperative Development International / Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), a nonprofit international development organization based in United States, have put together a mud crab and fish cultivation project in Timor-Leste through AQD’s Agree-build-operate-transfer (ABOT) program.
The project focuses on mud crab (Scylla serrata) production as a source of additional income and an opportunity for females to take part in aquaculture business and proper utilization of mangrove areas along the coastal communities in Timor- Leste.
AQD scientist Dr. Emilia Quinitio visited Timor-Leste on 21 August-3 September to discuss the project with the Chief of Party of the mud crab/fish cultivation project, Mr. Robert Rosengren and to assess the proposed sites for the mud crab fattening in pens and cages; grow-out; and hatchery. Dr. Quinitio also gave lectures which were participated by 13 staff from ACDI/ VOCA and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF). Biology of mud crab; collection and transport; hatchery design; broodstock and larval rearing; nursery; pond preparation; grow-out; fattening; aquasilviculture; and diseases were among the topics discussed. Practical sessions were also held and were attended by more than 20 participants from MAF and members of the community & producers’ group.