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Developing capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition

Armenia

FAO’s support to Armenia is based on national development objectives as identified in the Prospective Development Strategy 2015-2025 and the Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy 2015-2025, and other relevant sectoral strategies and concept papers. Collaboration has centered on fostering rural development, and specifically on promoting the competitiveness of smallholders, with a focus on animal health and productivity, crop production and protection, and sustainable resource management. Within the framework of the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) FAO provides technical assistance for institutional development and policy harmonization, the roll-out of a national agricultural census, and on issues related to agricultural productivity, land management and rural infrastructure.

As part of FAO’s efforts to promote sustainable rural development, the “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia” project adopts an integrated approach by operationalizing the linkages between social protection, nutrition and agricultural interventions.

The project ( under its first output) pilots two policy options in this regard. The first pilot, the “School Food and Nutrition Program linked to the Agricultural Sector”, aims to better connect schools and farmers, and to build their capacities in the areas of nutrition and sustainable agriculture. In the context of the National School Feeding Programme, the project establishes greenhouses, which facilitate vocational education in agriculture and nutrition and to improve the diets of students and the broader community.

With its second pilot, “Strengthening Food Systems for Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection”, the project links social protection programmes to livelihood support and sustainable agricultural practices. In this way, it aims to enhance the productive capacity of rural households receiving family benefits, and to address unemployment and promote access to nutritious food. By addressing the underlying drivers of malnutrition the project aims to maximize rural development outcomes.

By providing an evidence base on the effectiveness of an integrated approach in terms of food security, nutrition and social protection outcomes, the pilots will inform key national policy process in these fields. This relates directly another project output: improved policies, legislations and programmes. In particular, the project will specifically support the review and drafting of the Agricultural Law, the National Strategy of Sustainable School Feeding and the Food Security Concept Paper. To effectively implement actions and deliver results, a Comprehensive National Strategy on Food Security and Nutrition will be developed in collaboration with the government, the National Food Security Council, and other UN organizations and partners.

The third project output facilitates the implementation of the pilots by focusing on coordination and advocacy for enhanced food security and nutrition governance. The project aims to support the establishment of a high-level coordination mechanism for food security and nutrition in the form of a National Committee of Food Security and Nutrition. This committee will serve as a multi-stakeholder advisory and technical consultative body to the National Food Security Council.