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The greenhouse for school meals: from the garden to the plate in one step

UN WFP established a greenhouse on the territory of the Vardges Petrosyan School in Ashtarak, Aragatsotn Marz.

The greenhouse is divided into two sections of 200 sqm each. One section is a standard greenhouse devoted for growing tomatoes. The second is a hydroponic greenhouse for planting strawberries. Vegetables and berries from the greenhouse will be used to diversify the school meals as well as generate additional income which will be directed to the improvement of the school conditions.

The greenhouse is equipped with automated heating, humidity control and ventilation systems. There is no doubt — sweet strawberries and juicy tomatoes right from the garden will please primary school students.

In addition, UN WFP has also provided a 15kwt solar station to the school to cover for the heating expenditures and the costs of equipment of the school kitchen.

The greenhouse will also become an educational platform for school children. They will be able to master the principles of growing vegetables in greenhouse conditions and learn hydroponics technology.

Trainings for the school staff have been completed, and first seedlings of both tomatoes and strawberries (hydroponics) have been planted in March. The first harvest of tomatoes will be in May, and that of strawberries in June.

In November last year, Aragatsotn became the sixth marz, which joined the National School Meals Programme after Shirak, Syunik, Tavush, Vayots Dzor and Ararat.

The transition to the National School Meals Programme is carried out thanks to the UN WFP School Meals Development project. Under the project 474 schools of the Gegharkunik, Lori, Armavir and Kotayk marzes will be repaired and equipped with new equipment. By 2024, the National School Meals Programme schould involve all the country's marzes.