Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (Foro FSN)

Author of submission

Elena Bolotnikova, Director on International Cooperation, Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute

Title of your example

The school-based bakeries pilot


☒Sustainable food systems for improved nutrition

Date, location and geographic scope of your example (regional, sub-regional, national, local)

2015-2016, Norak and Roghun cities of Tajikistan, local

Main responsible entity(ies) for the implementation of your example

The school-based bakery pilot is a UN WFP and Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI) collaboration project within the UN WFP School Meals Programme. The project was supported by the Republican and local governments.

Key objectives and implementation approach of your example

Bakeries play important role in food chain supply for school feeding. Bread is staple food being the source of essential nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Comprehensive assessment of state of school feeding in Tajikistan conducted by SIFI revealed that there are several ways of schools providing their students with bread:

schools bake bread themselves in tandoor or bread machine;

parents can bake bread at home and bring to school;

schools can buy bread in shops or in the market;

private bakeries can bake bread for schools.

Other research reported that baking bakery products on the basis of one school of the district and supplying them to neighbouring schools is the most economically efficient and sustainable bread production and delivery model. Schools submit forms specifying amount of bread they need, and school bakery delivers bread products in accordance to them.

School bakeries create employment opportunities for local communities and can sell surpluses in local markets. Profit gained from bread sales can replenish school feeding fund. Raised funds can be spent to diversity school meals and improve school infrastructure.

School bakeries ensure quality control of bread baking process, stable supply of bread and compliance with sanitation and hygiene standards.

The overarching goal of the project is to improve the school ration by including high quality nutritious bread and to provide schools with additional funding for school feeding development.

Key objectives:

centralization of bakery production in order to improve the quality and safety of bread provided to schoolchildren;

creation of additional workplaces in bakeries;

creation of a potential income-generating opportunity of schools that allows to obtain additional financial source, replenish extra-budgetary school feeding funds and direct this money for the further improvement of children feeding.

Two schools were chosen at the initial stage of this project. The criteria for schools selection were: the school director’s consent to take responsibility for the arrangement of the bakery, assistance in repairing the placements, support of the executive local authorities and the presence of a professional baker at school staff.

After receiving the agreement from the directors these schools became centers for the creation of the pilot bakeries supplying bread to neighboring (pre-selected) schools. Schools were provided with the technical assistance in equipping of bakeries, training of staff, and obtaining of all necessary documents and permits from local regulatory authorities. As a result of this, two bakeries were established in school №3 in Norak and school №1 in Roghun to produce bread for their own needs and needs of eight schools in Roghun and 14 schools in Norak.

In addition to production component these pilots should create a sustainable and long-term mechanism allowing schools not only to produce bread and meeting demands of the pilot and neighbouring schools, but also to sell surpluses at the local market in order to obtain additional finances for schools. These funds can be spent to diversify school menu and improve school infrastructure.

Funding and technical assistance of your example

SIFI specialists solved a wide range of tasks.

SIFI analyzed the situation related to the production of bread in the regions, consulted executive local authorities (Hukumats) and carried out selection of schools, which could participate in the pilot project.

After that SIFI specialists consulted school directors and negotiated with them in order to receive their agreement.

During the subsequent technical stage SIFI prepared the feasibility studies of the projects and all the necessary documentation, including plans of placement’s repair and schemes of infrastructure communication’s installation.

The following step, completed by SIFI specialists, comprised equipment selection, its installation, supervision of repair and support in obtaining all the permits by schools.

SIFI conducted training of cooks and developed recipes and technological cards for the production of baked goods.

The pilot project was the part of funded by the Government of the Russian Federation WFP development project.

Key stakeholders involved. Describe the cross-sectoral coordination mechanism of your example, if any

Project management: UN WFP

Implementing partner: Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI)

National partners: Ministry of Health and Social Protection, hukumats (executive local authorities).

The first cross-sectoral coordination mechanism is Intergovernmental Coordination Council of School Feeding Development. It was established by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan in 2013 and currently headed by the First Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Tajikistan. The Council includes representatives of: Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Ministry of Labor, Migration and Employment of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Also Council includes the members of the Institute of Nutrition of the Republic of Tajikistan and State Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance Service, Agency for Standardization, Metrology, Certification and Supervision in the Sphere of Trade.

This mechanism allows to solve all problems at the initial stages of project implementation, taking into account the interests of all stakeholders and the requirements of national ministries.

The second cross-sectoral coordination mechanism is the Supervision Board, which manages work of the bakery and has a decision making functions.

The Supervisory Board is elected at a general meeting of the schools. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board, elected by the members of the Supervisory Board, organizes the work of the Board.

The Supervisory Board is responsible for the management and monitoring of the operation of the bakery. The Board will also assume the management of the budget, collection and disbursement of the funds in relation to the Bakery work, as well as the control of the commercial activities and financial resources generated through these activities, in accordance with the general purpose frameworks defined by the programme.

The Board has an overall decision making mandate in resolving other issues related to the operation of the bakeries, production and realization of the produce of the bakery.

The Supervisory Board holds ordinary meetings on a quarterly basis, called by the chairman of the Board.

School provides quarterly reports on the production and financial operations to the Supervisory Board.

This project was launched by WFP UN with technical assistance of SIFI. The local government (hukumat) is supporting School No1 in Roghun with electricity costs, and also invests in renovation work. In Norak the local government supported the bakery in transporting bread to recipient schools.

How your example addresses food security and nutrition challenges. Describe linkages to social protection policies / school food programs / sustainable food systems

In the Republic of Tajikistan the national policy of school feeding is going through development stage. Concept and Strategy of school feeding development approved by the Government, but the national school feeding programme, financed from the Republican budget is absent. It planned to be developed and launched by 2020.

Nowadays there is WFP UN school feeding programme. Within this programme WFP delivers to school products for cooking hot meals, in particular fortified wheat flour, sunflower oil, salt and peas.

The significant innovation of WFP development project was provision of technical assistance to schools and re-equipment of school canteens.

Despite of WFP efforts and donors assistance, even these component could not help to solve the general problem – the sustainability of school feeding.

Taking it into account, WFP and SIFI took the decision to test new pilot project – to provide schools with income-generating opportunity for the substantive development of school meals.

Bakeries were the optimal matter-of-course decision. Bread is traditionally part of feeding rations, including feeding of children at schools. In most cases schools either buy bread from private suppliers without any guarantee of quality of such products or obtain it from poorly equipped bakeries with extremely bad conditions.

Conducting a technical audit of schools in Norak SIFI specialists had an opportunity to look at the old bakery produced bread for schoolchildren. Bread was baked in unsatisfactory sanitary conditions using equipment, the service life of which had expired a long time ago. The room for baking was in emergency condition. Plaster hanged on the ceiling, the walls were completely in cracks and stains, and in some places the darkening similar to mold was also visible. The dough was kneaded in a wooden trough or bath. Prepared dough was baked in a roasting cupboard manufactured in Soviet period. In addition to this extreme conditions the production of bread required full-time employee of the baker.

Faced with such situation and estimated the scale of the problem UN WFP and SIFI decided to combine two tasks in one project – 1) to improve the quality and safety of baked goods; 2) to provide schools with the income-generating opportunity to product additional bread and sell it (within the confines of the school or in the local market) and thereby to generate an additional source of funding.

Baking bread inside the school in a well-equipped kitchen saves time, allows students to observe a professional bread baking process and most importantly improves the overall quality of the bread served to the children. The work of the bakeries to be overseen by quality assurance committees, who have all received training, comprising of the school director, a teacher and a nurse.

The school bakery, apart from the evident nutritional benefits and well-being of students, also presents an economic opportunity for the community as a whole, boosting local markets through purchase of local produce, creating local job opportunities and promoting agriculture.

The aspect of social protection should also be mentioned. This pilot project is acting in the interests of all primary schoolchildren but for poor families it’s role is more significant, because it helps to save household finances. After launch of the mechanism of surpluses sale some benefits for low-income families will also be provided.

Thus this pilot project is designed to show in practice how it is possible to solve the problem with school meals at the local level (and with small investments). It provides quality bread to schoolchildren provide the opportunity to diversify the menu, solving the problem with the absence of micronutrients, using the extrabudgetary fund, which will be replenished through the sale of bakery products.

What are the elements needed for the practice to be institutionally, socially, economically and environmentally resilient and/or sustainable?

First result of the project show that recipient schools are satisfied with this improvement of school feeding. All recipient schools appreciate and highly mark the work of pilot bakeries. With that at the national level we don’t have a document which would stimulate schools to this kind of activity. Tax exemptions and various encouraging can be recommended.

A problem with energy also exists, so in order for the school-based bakeries to be sustainable it is necessary for the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan to ensure that extra energy consumption costs related to bread production are covered by the Ministry of Finance. Currently there are some steps in this direction in framework of pilot projects, but the clean institutional document is required. The document that will regulate the relationship between central bakeries and recipient school is also required.

More active participation of local authorities also can be recommended, especially in the process of delivery of prepared baked goods to recipient schools. This participation must be designed legally.

Schools should develop all necessary documentation to register bakeries as legal entities to allow them to sell surpluses to secondary school children or at local markets in order to raise funds for schools. So consulting support in preparation of documents is required. Moreover business trainings for directors and staff also can be recommended.

The impact of your example on national policies and people’s lives. What indicators have been used to measure it?

Beneficiaries of school bakeries are 3935 school children (2547 in Norak and 1388 in Roghun).

From the point of view of national policy this project is a successful example of sustainable school feeding mechanism, which can be extended to the whole country.

From the point of view of the current impact on people’s lives it improves the quality of nutrition of schoolchildren, improves their health, increases efficiency of educational process and contributes to households’ economy.

From the point of view of medium and long-term perspective this project will help to build a constant sustainable mechanism integrated in national system of school feeding. Its impact includes improvement of primary school children’s nutrition, aid to secondary school children via selling buns in the school, significant household economy, creating of new work places, improving the economic situation of farmers involved in the supply of local products (as a consequence of the last two points - the development of the whole region), further improving the health of children due to enhancement of school meals as a result of receiving an additional source of income after the sale of bread in the local market.

Key indicators of current impact are the number of recipients, the volume of products and the timeliness of its delivery to recipient schools.

Key lessons (positive and negative) that can be learned from your example and how gaps, obstacles and any other adverse conditions were addressed

Positive key lessons:

better quality bread is produced by school bakeries;

school administration is able to control quality of bread;

new kitchen equipment saves time needed for bread production;

the project showed its relevance and practicality, there are good reasons for its spread to the national level.

Negative key lessons:

despite the preparation of agreement related to the payment of electricity, relationships between school bakeries and recipient schools are managed on the basis of oral agreements. It’s necessary to develop an agreement that will regulate this relationship;

school headmasters are not taking steps necessary to produce additional baked in order to sell it to secondary school children or in the local markets. To register the bakery as a legal business entity, schools should prepare a wide range of documents, including permissions from executive local authorizes, State Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance Service, an energy saving company, antimonopoly authorities and fire services. The absence of these necessary steps reflects not only the bureaucracy of the entire system, but also the feelings of directors who fear numerous inspections in the future. More dense work with school directors and direct support in preparation of documents should be recommended.

in some cases bakery staff avoids the new kitchen equipment. It requires additional briefing and regular supervision at each stage of projects;

the aid provided by executive local authorities, which acts as a private initiative of a current Hukumat chief, may be over with his retirement. By that reason any support from executive local authorities should be decorated legally.

the absence of delineation of participants responsibility is noticeable. The development of full comprehensive agreement regulating this aspect is also recommended.

Sources and/ or additional background material……