Khorog lies 7,200 ft above sea level, in the Pamir Mountains. The terrain is harsh, making it impossible to grow anything other than root vegetables. Operation Mercy began working in the area with schools and individual farmers, supporting them in setting up successful high-altitude greenhouse operations which will provide their families and the community with fresh, nutritious vegetables.
“My greenhouse gives me the best harvests every year,” said Sam*, a farmer in Khorog.
Before this, Sam never had a greenhouse or knew how to utilise one. But he learned from the project, and his greenhouse began to yield results. The harvests have provided his family with much-needed nutrition, with some preserved to provide food for the long, harsh winter months. Sam has also successfully cultivated and harvested watermelons and melons—fruits that his farmer grandparents were never able to grow, despite their hard work.
“I have produced more than 700kg of vegetables this year, and that’s more than enough for my family,” Sam added. “I am thankful for Operation Mercy and their partnership with us.”
Besides Sam, there are six other people in the village who have made their own small plastic greenhouses, after seeing them built at the school and witnessing the harvest. The locals now possess sufficient knowledge of functioning high-altitude greenhouses. They trust in its sustainability and are persuaded by the benefits of fresh produce. As part of the project, an expert in this field had paid the villagers a visit and gave them information on how to improve the operation of the greenhouses.
Not only do the greenhouses provide a sustainable source of nourishment, but they have also increased the farmers’ confidence and hope for the future.