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PIA Press Release

HFP beneficiaries thank HKI, health officers

Tabuk City, Kalinga (20 February) -- Recipients of the Homestead Food Production (HFP) Program in Calaocan, Rizal expressed appreciation and gratitude for the benefits they have gained especially in addressing malnutrition and food security in their barangays.

Calaocan Barangay Captain Flordeliza Magkilat thanked the Hellen Keller International for giving their trust to her Barangay as the pilot area for their HFP program in Luzon.

"Through HFP, our barangay came up with the'Gulayan sa Calaocan, Tugon sa Kalusugan' project that has significantly addressed the nutrition and food supply of our people," she said.

According to Makilat, with extra efforts some families were also able to earn from their backyard gardens that gave them extra income to send their children in school. She expressed hope that with the program's success in Calaocan, other barangays would emulate the practice.

In her testimony, Mrs. Alice Martinez, a housewife with three children in college, two in high school and three children in elementary said that through her backyard garden she was able to acquire extra income that helped in augmenting the financial needs of her children at school.

She related that her P100.00 seed capital for her garden gave her P2,000.00 gross income. Aside from that, she said that money usually allotted to buy food were saved for her children's school needs since her garden is producing enough food supply for the family including the supply of her three children in college.

Through the mother's class she said that they were taught about providing nutritious food for the family and at the same time how to manage their household needs to save and earn extra income.

To further improve their productivity, they requested the Department of Agriculture to provide technical assistance in making organic fertilizer. This she said will address their dependency on producers of organic fertilizers.

During the event HKI Country Director Ellen Villate congratulated the 50 families of Calaocan who willingly adopted the program during the last ten months.

"You are the heroes of today's event since you have been responsible for this project's success," she said. She said that she will make known their experience in the national and international level to showcase their best practices and lesson learned.

To sustain the program, HKI Project Manager Dr. Edward Tandingan has asked for the people's'enduring commitment' and the local official's continuing support to achieve the programs' goal of making Calaocan food sufficient and to expand the project all throughout the province. He said that government agency and local government's support is vital especially in the technical aspect.

"Through the convergence of the local government and concerned agencies, we could help the people cope with the insufficiency of food supply," he said which also supports the food security program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

HKI's Homestead Food Production Program (HFP) is one of a number of strategies deployed by HKI and partners around the world to alleviate malnutrition and address the global food price crisis. The program has put crops in the ground, nutrients in the diet, and meals on the table in many communities most severely affected by prolonged malnutrition. (ggdumallig/PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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