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Published: 13 April 2022 г.

Toktogul – A pilot greenhouse project to supplement school meals with locally-grown fresh vegetables is launched at school No. 29 named after M. Nurgaziev in Uch-Terek village of Jalal-Abad province. The programme aims to strengthen the capacity of all Kyrgyz primary schools to prepare and serve fresh and nutritious meals throughout the country.

This multi-stakeholder initiative was realized through the partnership of Uch-Terek Local Government, Good Neighbors International in the Kyrgyz Republic, and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in order to optimize the National School Meals Programme of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The greenhouse ensures that children have all year access to organic vegetables and fresh fruits, as well as provide additional income for the school to enrich the meal menu. To make the best use of the fresh produce grown in their backyard, the staff at the school and cooks were trained in nutrition, the development of a diverse menu and offered the possibility to improve their cooking skills.

“Agricultural initiatives are an essential component of school feeding,” said WFP Country Director in the Kyrgyz Republic, Kojiro Nakai. “With this approach, schools have access to fresh fruits and vegetables to prepare healthy and nutritious meals all year around, including in the colder months. The school gardens are also learning centres where children can obtain knowledge on agriculture.”

The new greenhouse is built using modern and eco-friendly technologies, heated mainly on solar energy and equipped with a drip irrigation system for better water management. The energy-saving construction is not only financially efficient, also important for environmental sustainability. Based on the good results of this pilot initiative, similar facilities will be launched in other schools across the country.

As of today, WFP has established nine greenhouses across the country to complement school meals and enable the schools to generate income and expand their schoolfeeding programme. School gardens became popular worldwide due to their interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral nature, encouraging a healthy diet, and promoting nutritional and environmental education.

School meals optimization in the Kyrgyz Republic is a widely recognised initiative, which has been receiving critical support from national and local authorities, communities and donors. Today, approximetely 220,000 primary school students receive hot meals in more than 800 schools.

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

For more information about UN WFP in the Kyrgyz Republic, contact Almaz Tchoroev at tel.: +996 550 577 597.

Good Neighbors International is an international humanitarian non-governmental organization with general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Founded in 1991, the organization implements and initiates social development projects in 35 countries around the world, whose goal is to improve the quality of life and provide access to education.

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