The manufacturing sector in Timor-Leste is characterised by businesses that are primarily small and informal in nature, with limited capacity to manage business processes, as well as to invest. A lack of skilled labour and the high-risk perception of these businesses discourage investments. Stimulating business investment in, and the diversification and quality of, technical support services and introducing access to affordable skills training are key intervention areas for MDF in the manufacturing sector.
Through the partnership with NPM Industries, MDF aims to facilitate the operationalisation and promotion of Timor-Leste’s first commercial facility for manufacturing iodised salt using locally sourced raw salt from Timorese salt farmers and collectors.
This involves engaging technical experts to train local NPM staff on operating the testing and refinery facility; introducing modern farming technology for improved raw salt procurement; and promoting the first ever locally produced iodised salt in the country.
This intervention will enable regular sales of raw salt to a large-scale commercial processor providing a stable source of income for the farmers and collectors. With increased demand for raw salt the partnership is expected to create job opportunities in salt collection, processing and packaging.