Nepal holds inception workshop

Usha Palaniswamy reports on an inception workshop hosted in Nepal to engage project participants in Dolakha and Ramechhap districts.

A one-day Vegetables Go to School (VGtS) Inception Workshop was held in Nepal on March 31, 2014. The workshop was organized by the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) in partnership with Department of Education (DoE) and Department of Health Services (DoHS) and was held at the seminar hall of National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), Khumaltar, Kathmandu. The workshop aimed to (1) highlight government plans, policies and strategies on school-based health, nutrition and agricultural programs to frontline implementers of VGtS, and (2) share concepts, objectives and implementation modalities of VGtS among stakeholders.

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Dr. Tek Bhadur Gurung, Executive Director of NARC, was the Chairperson and Dr.  Lav Dev Awasti, Director General of DoE was the Chief Guest of the Workshop. Department of Health Services was represented by Under-secretary Mr. Satrughan Pudasaini. Dr. Gueladio Cisse, Professor, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland and Dr. Ray-Yu Yang, Chief Nutrition Division, AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center were special guests at the workshop. Mr. Marco Cavalcante, Head and Ms. Pramila Ghimire, Coordinator of World Food Programme (WFP), Nepal along with representatives from Helen Keller International (HKI) and Helvetas Swiss Interoperation, Nepal also attended the workshop.  WFP, HKI and Helvetas are involved in school feeding, nutrition, and water, sanitation and health (WASH) activities in Nepal. Other workshop participants were from the departments of Health and Education, horticulture researchers, officials from education offices of project districts (Dolakha and Ramechhap) and school teachers from 11 project schools.

Dr. Lava Dev Awasti gave his full commitment to implementing VGtS program in project districts and noted the need for school gardens nationwide for better nutrition education, skill development, mental peace and environmental protection.  Dr. Gueladio Cisse  explained the relationship between WASH and nutrition among children.  Dr. Tek Bhadur Gurung assured his full support for smooth implementation of the project and stressed the need for pesticide-free production. Dr. Krishna P. Paudyal, the Country Coordinator, gave a brief introduction about the VGtS project during the inaugural session.

The inaugural session was followed by a technical session from April 1- April 4.

Posted in: Nepal

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