FAO opens greenhouses in Tajikistan schools

DUSHANBE (TCA) — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Russian Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute have opened a greenhouse at secondary school No. 15 in the Proletar village of the Vakhsh district in Tajikistan.

Under an FAO pilot project funded by the Russian Federation, 20 schools in the Khatlon region (Vakhsh and Dusti districts and the city of Nurek) have been provided with 22 unheated greenhouses with drip irrigation systems. The Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute provides technical support.

Vegetables and greens grown in these greenhouses will be used for the preparation of fresh salads, which will be added to schoolchildren’s basic hot meals to improve dietary diversity and nutritional value. Schools will be able to sell surpluses of grown products on the local market, and the money earned will be used to further improve school feeding.

The greenhouses also will serve as a platform for teaching schoolchildren the basics of agricultural labor and where healthy and tasty vegetables and greens come from.
The modern technologies used in the greenhouses will be distributed among local farmers and rural people, helping them to improve yields through the transition to innovative practices.

“This is one way to support the implementation of the national school feeding strategy,” said Oleg Guchgeldiyev, FAO Representative in Tajikistan. “Parallel to this project, FAO is also working at the governmental level to change the national curriculum in Tajikistan to include nutrition education.”

Since 2013, Tajikistan has developed strategic and policy documents for the Sustainable School Feeding Strategy in the Republic of Tajikistan, which was adopted by the Government in September 2017 for the period until 2027. This was made possible through the collaboration of the Government, international organizations and local authorities, with financial support from the Russian Federation.

In 2016, FAO, with help from the Russian Federation, launched the comprehensive project “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia,” which is being implemented at the global, regional and country levels. The project focuses on building links between agriculture, nutrition and social protection within the national food systems. This greenhouse effort is part of that project. Other pilot work is being implemented in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, in collaboration with the Russian Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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