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FAO opens greenhouses in schools in Tajikistan

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Russian Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute will open a greenhouse today 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.

Today’s opening ceremony will include speeches by representatives of government ministries, the Russian Federation and the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute. Directors of the pilot schools also will speak, and FAO will present the results of the pilot project on cultivating vegetables in greenhouses.

Primary school children will perform an interactive theatrical play teaching about greenhouses, their importance, and the best ways to care for plants.

“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, the Republic of 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.

For more information about the project and other activities in Tajikistan, please visit the website:  Developing capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition - Tajikistan.

11 May 2018, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

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