Kyrgyz Republic, WFP launch skills training for food security in vulnerable communities
BISHKEK – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic today agreed to develop training courses and coaching services related to techniques in agriculture, to improve the knowledge, livelihoods and food security of the poor and vulnerable across the country.
Under a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Government and WFP will work with partners to design 64 short-term skills courses focused on such areas as improved agricultural techniques, food processing and preserving methods plus climate-change resilience activities.
Kyrgyz Government funding will be used to launch the new courses, to be included in the national vocational education system, across the country by the end of this year.
“Easier access to knowledge and skills training is key to fighting poverty, and this includes short-term skills programmes. By launching a system of accessible educational services for the poor and vulnerable, the government is investing in improving their quality of life, increasing incomes and supporting the socio-economic development of the country,” said Minister of Education and Science Elvira Sarieva.
WFP will provide approximately US$100,000 to develop and test course curricula in the two pilot districts of Bazar-Korgon and Kochkor this year, for national roll-out later.
“WFP’s work in the Kyrgyz Republic focuses on the creation of sustainable income sources for the poor and vulnerable people and communities,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in the Kyrgyz Republic Ram Saravanamuttu.
“This initiative contributes to sustainable food security, nutrition and resilience among the poorest and most food-insecure groups by developing agricultural skills and capacity and providing them with tools to manage risks such as natural disasters and climate change,” said Saravanamuttu.
“Signing this MoU demonstrates the commitment of Kyrgyz government bodies to unite in their efforts to fight poverty and improve food security for the poorest,” he added.
Courses will be taught through vocational lyceums across the country. Classes will be scheduled throughout the growing season from February to October to support the attendees with knowledge and coaching.
Participants in the MoU include the ministries of Labour and Social Development; Education and Science; Agriculture and Food Industry. The MoU also includes the Agency for Vocational Education and the Kyrgyz National Agrarian University, which will develop the curricula and train faculty while Agriculture ministry staff will provide counselling throughout the courses.
“This MoU links education, science and local agricultural production,” said Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Turdunazir Bekboev. “We aim to increase the incomes of rural populations while enhancing agricultural productivity.”
Course participants will be selected based on their level of vulnerability with support from the regional offices of the Labour and Social Development ministries.
“This MoU empowers the country to address a number of national priorities to reduce poverty, improve food security and social protection measures to ensure sustainable development for all,” said Minister of Labour and Social Development Kudaibergen Bazarbaev.