NDA milk feeding program helps decrease malnutrition in Central Visayas
By Minerva BC Newman
Cebu, Philippines (11 February) -- The National Dairy Authority-Visayas Field Office has been cited by the National Nutrition Council as one of the agencies to have helped reduce hunger incidence in Central Visayas through its milk feeding programs in day care centers and schools in the Visayas area (Regions 6, 7 & 8).
Farina Dy, NDA-7 Information Officer said that in 2007, the Visayas Dairy Zones had produced a total of 1,500 tons of milk, higher by 52 tons from the 2006 production of 1,448 tons. Of these 719,793.01 liters were commercially sold while 237,397.69 liters of milk were used for its Milk Feeding programs.
Dy further said that the NDA-VFO with its cooperatives and federations were able to feed 49,565 elementary and day care children in the Visayas area. The agency has been tapped to join the "Food for School" program of the government.
NDA's milk feeding program has assisted various local government units in sustaining their own feeding programs to day care children and elementary pupils that are identified as malnourished.
For one, Mandaue City has won the CROWN or "Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition" award as it won the green Banner Award for the past three years through its consistent implementation of the milk feeding program for the last seven years and continuing.
In Cebu City, NDA-VFO has also joined the city government in its milk feeding program in 10 identified barangays of T. Padilla, Kalunasan, Mambaling, Inayawan, Sawang Calero, Pahina Central, Pahina San Nicolas, Ermita, Budlasan and Tejero. These barangays have high malnutrition incidence.
In 2007 some 1,797 children from the above identified barangays had benefited from the milk feeding project that was funded by the NDA and the PCSO.
On February 14 and 15, 2008 the Cebu Provincial government will also launch the milk feeding program for children ages 3-5 in Arao and Tabuelan respectively.
According to the Dy, the program will be implemented in the 14 ECCD municipalities with more than 4,546 children as target beneficiaries with 50% of the funding coming from the NDA and another 50% counterpart funding from the provincial government.
Presently in Iloilo City, the Iloilo federation of dairy cooperatives is a partner of DepEd in its feeding program in 110 schools with some 4,234 beneficiaries. Also in the pipeline, according to Dy is the Batang Ilongo Palanga Ka (BIP KA) program which will also be funded by the NDA and the Iloilo provincial government under governor Niel Tupas.
Antique on the other hand will start its milk feeding program this year funding of which will come from the NDA and the Antique Provincial government led by governor Salvacion Perez.
Meantime, according to the updates on the performance of the Philippine Dairy production in 2007 report, the dairy sub-sector had recorded an output increase of 3.44% and an increase in gross value production by 5.07 percent.
The report also said that total milk output reached to 13.23 thousand metric tons in 2007 from 12.79 thousand MT in 2006.
According to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), the output expansion was due to an increase in the number of cattle and milk line throughout the year.
BAS records showed that of the total milk output, the NDA-assisted dairy projects had accounted for 70% or equivalent to 9.27 thousand metric tons of production; and the gross value of dairy production amounted to P387.11-million, representing a 5.07% increase this year. (PIA-Cebu) [top]