Milk feeding program underway for day care children

The tie-up between the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) on a 120-day milk feeding program is already making headway in eight cities nationwide with a total of 10,619 beneficiaries.

Said program is being implemented in the cities of Olongapo, Angeles, Lucena, Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, Tacloban, Zamboanga, and Bacolod.

Pursuant to the Republic Act No. 11037 or “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino”, the DSWD in coordination with the local government units (LGU) and agencies is mandated to implement a supplementary feeding program (SFP) to address undernutrition among children (ages 2-5 years) currently enrolled in the day care centers or Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP) groups by incorporating fresh milk and fresh milk-based food products in the hot meals.

Several memoranda of agreement between the DSWD Field Offices and DA-PCC Regional Centers were signed to implement the program with a total funding of Php24,211,320 provided by DSWD.

The DSWD coordinated with DA-PCC to link them with local dairy producers and cooperatives where milk can be sourced from. The latter identified and tapped its assisted dairy farmer-cooperatives as suppliers of milk in the feeding program, which include Catmon Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC), Rosario Livestock and Agriculture Farming Cooperative, Yamang Bukid, Calinog Farmers’ Agriculture Cooperative, Baclay MPC, Baybay Dairy Cooperative, and San Julio Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing health protocols, the co-ops delivered milk products to the designated drop-off points, which were inspected afterwards by LGU and DSWD Regional Office milk feeding focal persons. 

Under the program, each child is given 200 ml toned carabao’s milk for 120 days to combat malnutrition.

The DSWD-funded milk feeding program carries twin benefits, as it will not only protect children from malnutrition by improving and/or maintaining their nutritional status, but will contribute to the sustainable economic activities of the local dairy farmers as well.

Meanwhile, the DSWD also partners with DA-PCC through its assisted co-ops in Region 3 for the facilitation of the 10th Cycle SFP with 588,492 beneficiaries. Through this scheme, the children are given 200 ml of milk each for 12 days (once a week for three months) in addition to the regular nutritious, hot or alternative meals under the government’s SFP.

“We provided them (carapreneurs) technical assistance on aspects of proper and hygienic milk handling and processing to produce food safety-compliant pasteurized toned carabao’s milk. Aside from that, we also target to teach them how to develop sustainable milk-based livelihood enterprises like Milkybun production,” said Mina Abella, DA-PCC’s milk feeding national coordinator and Product Development and Innovation Section head.
“DSWD considers Milkybun as alternate food for its SFP, so this is another livelihood for the carapreneurs. Hopefully, they will start the inclusion of Milkybun in their 11th cycle SFP,” she added.

Apart from DA-PCC, DSWD is also in partnership with the National Dairy Authority, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), LGUs, non-governmental organizations, and other agencies in the implementation of the milk feeding program. (Photo by Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan)

DA-PCC conducts gender mainstreaming assessment

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center’s (DA-PCC) Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System (FPS) and technical working group (TWG) members convened in a workshop following health and safety protocols to assess the level of the agency’s efforts on GAD using Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework (GMEF) tool.

GAD Focal Person Aimee Fuljencio and outgoing GAD Focal and TWG Lead Sonia Pol facilitated the said workshop held today at the DA-PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija. The DA-PCC GMEF assessment period covers GAD activities from 2018-2020.

Upon going through the organizational assessment questionnaire, the group was able to identify a number of means of verifications (MOV) for the agency’s GMEF in four key areas namely Policy, People, Enabling Mechanisms, Programs, Activities, and Projects.

The initial assessment with baseline score will be submitted to the Philippine Commission on Women on May 3 for validation.

After the workshop, the group also laid out plans and activities for the following years to develop gender-responsive policies and program for a more gender-sensitive institution.

DA-PCC features Kardeli carabao meat products in celebration of the Filipino Food Month

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) will feature Kardeli carabao meat products through the Caralutuan food vlog series as part of the celebration of the Filipino Food Month or Buwan ng Kalutong Pinoy 2021.

Kardeli was derived from the words carabao (meat) and delicacy. The brand represents the healthful and natural farm fresh goodness of meat products sourced from ethically grown carabaos in an environmentally sound and hygienic production system.

The Kardeli carabao meat and meat products are under the Meat Development Program planned by the DA-PCC through the Product Development and Innovation Section (PDIS), Animal Breeding and Genomics Section (ABGS), Production Systems and Nutrition Section (PSNS) and Carabao-based Enterprise Development Section (CEDS). The project includes sub-programs and activities such as breeding, feeding, development of quality meat products, and enterprise development.

“Kardeli has been an idea a few years back. Carabao meat products have already been available in the market even before the plan on Meat Development Program. DA-PCC at CLSU have produced carabao tapa, tocino and papaitan while DA-PCC at UPLB manufactured ten variants of carabao meat sausage. The project will be a long-term program, which aims to formally re-introduce carabao meat in the market,” The project will be a long-term program, which aims to formally re-introduce carabao meat in the market,” said Patrizia Camille Saturno, Science Research Specialist II (SRS II) of PDIS.

Initially, the agency has dwelled its focus on dairy production. Now, it will also implement a deliberate program for meat production. Saturno furthered that the project also intends to develop a carabao meat line wherein carabaos will be studied and bred specifically for meat production.

“Research studies show that carabao meat is similar to cattle meat [beef] in tenderness, texture and flavor especially when reared and fed for early slaughter. Furthermore, it provides lower cholesterol, lower calories and higher protein compared to beef. We want to break the stereotype that carabao meat is tough and has poor quality. If we could develop a meat line, we can produce higher quality carabao meat and meat products for the market,” she added.

The agency will be showcasing Filipino dishes using the Kardeli carabao meat and meat products such as pre-packed choice cuts, gourmet sausages and specialty quick meals every Friday for the whole month of April through the Caralutuan food vlog series posted on the DA-PCC Facebook page.