The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture of Tajikistan last month signed the project document “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia.”.

According to FAO office in Tajikistan, the project, funded by the Russian Federation, is to strategically mediate the challenges in the country and promote cross-sectoral collaboration by providing adequate capacity to effectively pursue and manage coherence between agriculture, nutrition, health, education and social protection sectors.

The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 2, aiming to reduce hunger and improve nutrition, while making agriculture and food systems sustainable, requires an integrated approach that includes nutrition and social protection in the agricultural and food security intervention.  In this approach for example: the provision and supply of school meals is linked with local agriculture, and reinforced by hands-on work on food and nutrition education; school gardening and active engagement of families, school personnel and communities to create children’s lifelong healthy eating habits and healthier school food environments.

By applying such integrated and comprehensive approach, several objectives could be met in the country, such as enhanced food security and nutrition, market creation, livelihoods improvements, development of value chains, promoting healthy diets using local products and increasing and diversifying local agriculture.

“The project directly contributes to the increase of crop productivity, diversification, food nutrition and employment opportunities for migrants, including capacity development activities of the national partners and beneficiaries, and by a large the project will support a food security improvement in the country,” said Oleg Guchgeldiyev, FAO Representative in Tajikistan.

The ultimate aim of the project is to help the country establish an enabling environment ensuring food security to the most vulnerable population.

Fruitful partnerships have reportedly been established with the ministries and agencies of Tajikistan, including the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Employment, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Agency for Statistics as well as with the National Dehkan Farm Association.

Besides, the project liaises and cooperates in Tajikistan with organizations, such as the Russian Federation Embassy, the International Organization for Migration, the World Food Organization, the World Health Organization and the International Children's Emergency Fund of the United Nations.