Watch | Cambodian kids learn to grow and cook their own food

A video on how schools in Cambodia teach students to grow and cook their own food

September 12, 2022 04:53 pm | Updated 08:13 pm IST

This is a rural school in Siem Reap province in Cambodia 

Covid restrictions, followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused severe food shortages in developing countries 

But some schools in the country have a Plan B – setting up “learning gardens” to teach kids how to grow their own food and cook too 

This, along with the free meals scheme, ensures that no child goes hungry 

They also test their maths skills while weighing their produce. 

More than 1,000 schools around Cambodia have meal programmes supported by the World Food Programme. 

Around 50 learning gardens were set up with help from the global rights group Plan International. 

Before each day’s lessons, students are served a free breakfast of rice and fish soup with vegetables grown in the garden. 

Long Tov, principal of the school in Chroy Neang Nguon, says the garden and meal programme has helped reduce the school’s dropout rates 

How has the food crisis impacted Cambodia?

According to a study backed by UNICEF, malnutrition costs the Cambodian economy more than $400 million a year, about 2.5 per cent of the GDP 

The World Food Programme says the prices of local staples have shot up in the past year 

The United Nations Nutrition office in Cambodia says the rising food prices will only deepen the childhood malnutrition crisis 

These vegetable patches in schools, however, have become a safety net for struggling families. 

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