In recent years, more and more rural households in Timor-Leste have taken up fish farming driven by increasing knowledge of a locally-tested and proven approach to growing fish and better access to quality genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT) seed. GIFT is a faster-growing strain of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) that is suitable for both small-scale and commercial aquaculture. It was developed by WorldFish and partners for over 30 years and it is farmed in over 14 countries.
Since the demand for GIFT is increasing, a new PPP-model hatchery has been established at Leohitu village, in the west of the country, which will narrow the demand-supply gap of seed and pave the way for the sector’s development. The PPP-model hatchery will produce and disseminate GIFT monosex fingerlings. The hatchery is owned by the We Lekun company and will support the sustainable development of aquaculture to help combat malnutrition in the country, where one in two children under five are stunted.