Developing capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition

300 beneficiaries were trained on food security and better nutrition in Khatlon region of Tajikistan

03 June 2019 | Dushanbe, Tajikistan – Following the first training session on food security and nutrition that took place in September last year, next training series were held in the Khatlon region of Tajikistan in May-June 2019. The training programme was initiated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and developed and conducted by the Republican Center for the Formation of Healthy Lifestyle of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan.

The aim of this second training session was to gain insight into how beneficiaries had been changing their attitude towards healthy eating compared to the first phase of the training, during which they were introduced to the basics of healthy food and better nutrition. New topics on the production of nutritious and safe food, micronutrient deficiencies, crop diversification and the cultivation of nutritious food were introduced. Diverse groups of people participated in the training, which included representatives of local government institutions, schools, public committees, civil society and community gender groups. The session was formed to be carried by groups of 15 beneficiaries in different districts of the Khatlon region. In total, more than 300 people participated in this second phase of the food security and nutrition training.

The training consisted of lectures, discussions and working groups, including dissemination materials.

The trainers of the Republican Center for the Formation of Healthy Lifestyle also expanded knowledge on home preservation of vegetables, importance of better nutrition, hygiene and a healthy lifestyle in general at the regional level, all with the aim to increase awareness on food security and nutrition.

“Awareness raising campaigns among the rural population are an effective tool to introduce healthy dietary habits among the population. Improving rural people’s diets is an important development priority and essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Oleg Guchgeldiyev, FAO Representative in Tajikistan.

“We are very fortunate to attend this training and to acquire solid knowledge on food security and nutrition. For sure, I am going to share the received information with my family and friends. It is a good idea to change some bad eating habits in order to prevent diseases. Now I have more information about growing our local nutritious crops, ways of storing and preserving food, and diversifying the menu,” said one of the participants.

“This information about food security, food safety and nutrition is also relevant to FAO’s pilot on school food and nutrition. I can share theoretical knowledge with my schoolchildren but also conduct practical lessons on the basis of the information received, and use the interactive methods and visibility materials we received during the training,” said a biology teacher.

The training programme is a part of the awareness raising campaign on food security and nutrition that has been carried out in Tajikistan under the FAO project “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia”, funded by the Russian Federation. The project aims to promote cross-sectoral collaboration by building adequate capacity to pursue and manage coherence between the agriculture, nutrition, health, education and social protection sectors.