What we do - Timor-Leste

The Corner Store Network TL works to improve food security and nutrition whilst supporting communities and subsistence farmers to improve their livelihoods and build local economies through the establishment of ‘preservation hubs’ which are open, inclusive and accessible to entire communities where they are located. Built into repurposed shipping containers and outfitted with food preservation equipment, the hubs are designed to be sustainable, self-sufficient, and community-led to provide a stable source of food.

The Corner Store Network TL is a run by community, for community to ensure that every person in Timor-Leste has secure access to safe and nutritious food.

The Corner Store Network TL is committed to developing local management, capacity and accountability and ensuring local control of the program wherever appropriate, empowering communities to self-determine their own futures.

How it works;

  • Shipping container preservation hubs are established in communities after extensive community consultation, and run by trained local people,
  • Farmers sell produce to the preservation hub and receive a fair price for their produce,
  • Trained employees of the hub preserve the produce and store it, making it available for the community to purchase all year round at a low cost, with profits returned into the hubs.

Timor-Leste suffers and infamous hungry season, where food shortages are particularly severe for four months annually: October-November and February-March. This insecurity is common due to drought, lack of infrastructure, underdeveloped markets, and few to no income generating activities. Over one-third of the population regularly experiences food shortages. Timor-Leste also  sees 47% of children under the age of five chronically malnourished (stunted) and 43% severely malnourished (underweight). The rate of wasting is about 12% nationwide. Traditional farming methods and a lack of diversification mean that yields are generally low. Regularly occurring periods of food shortage are exacerbated by a growing population and dramatic changes in the weather patterns that can cause crops to fail. These challenges pose risks to sustainable social and economic development, and further exacerbate rural poverty.

The Corner Store Network TL is working to strengthen local economies, improve nutrition through increased access to food and help to practice regenerative farming and production techniques that have a positive effect on our changing climate.