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Locally sourced food for a sustainable and self-sufficient national School Meals Programme

April 26 the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched the Logistics and processing center in Batken province.

The pilot logistics centre, created on the basis of Biy Kok cooperative with technical support of SIFI, contributes to sustainable implementation of the National School Meals Programme in the Kyrgyz Republic. The center links schools and local producers in a private-public partnership, providing local farmers better access to markets through an improved logistics chain. Additionally, the pilot center may become the model that can be extended to other regions of the country.

“School meals have a vital role and the government considers the wellbeing of children as a priority, an important investment in future. The Ministry of Education will actively cooperate with WFP towards a sustainable National School Meals Programme,” said the Minister of Education and Science, Kanybek Imanaliev.

“I am very pleased to take part in the opening ceremony of the logistics center. We hope that this assistance will help to pave the way for stronger cooperation towards our common goal of improving the health and nutrition of school-aged children in the Kyrgyz Republic”, said the representative of the Russian embassy.

The logistics center consists of three facilities: vegetable storehouse with an insulated van, processing facility and mobile laboratory for testing the quality of agricultural products for schools. WFP provided the center with the necessary equipment, insulated van and mobile laboratory, as well technical and normative guidance to ensure its operation according to laws, regulations and standards related to food safety and quality.

“With this contribution, we will strengthen the MoES capacities on the National school meals programme to establish better linkages between schools and local smallholders and create a sustainable model of centralized supply of locally produced products to schools,” said Kojiro Nakai, WFP Representative and Country Director in the Kyrgyz Republic.