Nutritious Food Enterprises

Timor-Leste is one of the most food insecure countries in the world.  It is also faced with the challenges of high unemployment and few employment opportunities outside of agriculture.

To address these two needs, ADRA Timor-Leste’s Nutritious Food Enterprises project, with funding from ADRA International, has been working with women’s groups to experiment with cooking local foods to develop healthy recipes that promote nutritious food choices and diet diversity.

Through their experimentation, three groups in Carabalo, Luca, Uma Tolu communities have developed a method for producing tempeh—a fermented soybean cake—that offers a valuable source of protein and nutrients. And it is popular! Because good quality tempeh is difficult to find outside of city centres, the groups have found a ready market for tempeh. The women have started businesses working together to produce tempeh and sell it to their neighbours and local restaurants. They are earning money that is contributing to the wellbeing of their families.

As an extension to the planned activities, ADRA has rolled out a tempeh production “franchise” introducing the business concept to interested entrepreneurs in three new communities. We are providing new groups with a starter pack of basic equipment, training them in production methods and linking them to mentors from the previously-formed tempeh groups.Watch for updates as we support these enterprising women!