The Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan have high altitudes, steep-sided valleys and cold winters make growing fresh vegetables difficult at best and impossible at worst. RED International’s partner, Operation Mercy provides technology to grow produce out of the normal seasons.
Tajikistan is one of the poorest countries in Central Asia and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) one of the poorest regions in the country. Agriculture is the most significant area of the economy yet output per head is very low.
Poor transport infrastructure, high unemployment, shallow and often poor soils, high prices for inputs, and natural predators that eat livestock add to the villagers’ problems. These and other factors contribute to people migrating to Russia for work leaving an even greater burden of labour on families left behind.
The difficulty in growing and the cost of buying vegetables in the short season means that nutrients from them are only available for a brief time which causes people’s health to suffer.
The high altitude greenhouses project aims to address the problem of the lack of vegetables by providing technology to allow them to be grown at higher altitude outside of the normal seasons. So far they have built nine greenhouses in six locations. In 2016 they also built four in two school grounds.
Operation Mercy Tajikistan also have the Khorog Health Project to train health workers and villagers in nutrition and health as well as in setting up the greenhouses.
Potential Long Term Impact
Families have been transformed through developing their nutrition and agricultural knowledge. This concept that works! We are seeing this demonstrated by the rate at which neighbours of your greenhouse owners are copying the design and when our partners have continued to build additional greenhouses without support from Operation Mercy.
The only ongoing cost for the partners is the replacement plastic for the greenhouse. It’s possible to renew this using profit from the harvest. We are also looking at a sustainable supplier for the seeds that villagers can access directly.
We need long term partners so the project has a sustainable funding stream for building and training costs. Could that be you? If you would like to give regularly or a one donation please follow the link and/or contact us for more details.