By February 2, 2015 Read More →

VGtS training in Bhur, Gelephu, Sarpang

Submitted by Thinley Dukpa, Assistant VGtS Project Manager
CoRRB, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Thimphu

The Vegetables Go to School (VGtS) Project, in collaboration with the Council for RNR Research of Bhutan CoRRB, DoA, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), DSE, MoE, RIHS, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), organized Training Workshop from 5 – 10 January 2015 at Bhur, Gelephu, Sarpang. The main objective of the Training Workshop was to brief the participants on policy implementation of VGtS in schools, and provide technical and practical training on vegetable gardening. The Training Workshop was organized for 15 schools (10 intervention and 5 new additional schools). For two days, the five newly recruited schools (as control schools) were briefed on entering the VGtS survey form data, and then departed to carry out the surveys at their respective schools. The remaining 10 schools received practical and technical orientations to vegetable gardening.

The workshop was chaired by the Director General, CoRRB, MoAF. In the opening remarks, the Director General highlighted the importance of vegetable gardening and nutrition supplements for schoolchildren through school gardening. The DG expressed that teachers are the bridge to get across messages regarding the importance of vegetable gardening to students, and that teachers should impart what they learned from the training to their students.

Trainees practice seed sowing skills.

Trainees practice seed sowing skills.

The Country Project Manager said the main objective of the Vegetables Go to School project is to have schoolchildren “produce their own vegetables” to improve health, provide nutritional security and improve intellect, knowledge, and academic performance. To make the training workshop more technical and practical, resource persons were invited from various Ministries/Departments: Department of School Education and Department of Youth and Sports (DSE, DYS (WASH); Ministry of Education; Royal Institute for Health Science (RIHS); Ministry of Health and Department of Agriculture; and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. During the five-day workshop, the trainers focused on policies and briefed the participants on the project objectives, the importance of agriculture education, nutrition through agriculture diversification in feeding schools, vegetable production programs for nutrition and food security, and integrating WASH programs with school gardening for better health and nutrition. Participants also learned how to sow seeds, set up seedling nurseries, make compost and create polytunnels.

During a field visit to Samtenthang community and Dekiling Lower Secondary School, participants met Mr. Data Ram and his family, who have a well-established vegetable garden with livestock. Participants were motivated by witnessing the Mr. Ram’s progress, and hope to replicate the farming activities at their schools. At the closing ceremony participants received seeds and the questionnaires for data collection. They were asked to keep track of their work through pictures and other documentation.

Visiting Mr. Ram's successful vegetable and livestock farm.

Visiting Mr. Ram’s successful vegetable and livestock farm.

Posted in: Bhutan

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