We’re happy to announce that TOMAK has today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Timor-Leste Ministry of Health, which will serve as a foundation for ongoing cooperation with the Ministry over the next 5-10 years. TOMAK is working to address key food security and nutrition issues that remain an important challenge for Timor-Leste, with an emphasis on nutrition-sensitive agriculture approaches. This includes supporting activities which directly target known nutrition gaps, in particular protein, Vitamin A and micronutrient deficiencies.
Through a range of NGO partners, TOMAK is working with communities to improve the production and availability of good, nutritious food. We are providing support for increased fish and poultry production, greater production of grain legumes, improved home gardens, better storage of grains and legumes, and improved techniques for preparing, processing and preserving food.
We are also working to stimulate demand for nutritious foods, through a range of social and behaviour changes approaches designed to influence household behaviours. This includes working with parents groups and other community groups to improve nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes and practices; supporting the development and reproduction of nutrition-related extension and training materials; building on the Health Family Happy Family nutrition materials produced by the Ministry of Health; and reaching out to families through community drama, local radio, social and traditional media.
The Ministry of Health is a key partner in this work, particularly for the program’s social and behaviour change activities. TOMAK recognises the Ministry’s important role in maintaining the quality of nutrition messaging in Timor-Leste and coordinating the nutrition activities of multiple development partners. We are proud to be working alongside the Ministry of Health to help improve nutrition of farming families across the country, and we look forward to ongoing support and cooperation.