DAR, NNC tap Bicol farmers to supply food for poor pregnant women, children
LEGAZPI CITY, APR 29 (PIA) – To ensure steady supply of nutritious food for pregnant women and children, especially among poor families in the Bicol region, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and National Nutrition Council (NNC) tapped local farmers as direct source of quality food.
Under the recently signed memorandum of understanding (MOU), the regional offices of the NNC and DAR in the region agreed to directly source produce requirements for the NNC’s Tutok Kainan Dietary Supplementation Program (DSP) from the agency’s farmer-beneficiaries.
“Under the agreement, members of the identified Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in the Bicol Region will deliver the nutritional requirements of the NNC, harvested from their agricultural produce, which includes vegetables, fruits, rice, root crops, and other farm products,” DAR Bico Regional Director Rodrigo O. Realubit said.
He cited that NNC requires a steady supply of nutritious food as an adjunct to good health care for pregnant women in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, and Catanduanes, and for children aged 6-23 months in Sorsogon.
In Albay, Realubit said the program covers 620 barangays targetting 3,425 pregnant women.
The agreement likewise aims to promote the economic empowerment of agrarian reform beneficiaries through long-term partnership as direct supplier of farm products for NNC’s dietary needs.
“I hope that the collaboration of the two agencies will have a positive impact on the economic conditions and income of our farmers while addressing the full range of health and nutrition needs of low-income pregnant women and their children,” he said.
Tutok Kainan is NNC’s COVID-19 response to operationalize the needed services outlined in RA 11148, also known as the “Kalusugan Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act,” which is a feeding program for pregnant women and children under the age of two.
NNC Bicol program coordinator Arlene Reario stressed on the feeding program as a critical strategy for addressing hunger and malnutrition among pregnant women and children.
The program is targeted for areas with nutritionally at-risk pregnant women, including areas with high rates of child stunting and malnourished children aged 6-23 months old and those affected by the recent typhoons.
The feeding program will run daily for four weeks and will follow a menu approved by the NNC to prevent health problems and improve the health of these target beneficiaries.
The joint project is being implemented under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program intended to contribute to the national government’s efforts in addressing hunger and poverty, and to directly benefit the poorer sector of the society through the synergy and convergence of the essential services under various government offices and agencies. (PIA5/Albay/DAR5)