ARBs group supplies carabao’s milk for DepEd’s School Feeding Program in Davao Oriental

The Kalaparan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, an assisted farmer group of DA-PCC at University of Southern Mindanao (DA-PCC at USM) in the City of Mati, has been identified as the primary supplier of carabao’s milk for over 7,500 students of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) School-based Feeding Program in Davao Oriental.

This partnership represents a major step towards integrating socioeconomic development with educational programs. Local farmers, who were previously landless, are now directly contributing to the welfare of schoolchildren in their community.

Geoffray Atok, center director of DA-PCC at USM, commended the strategy of empowering agrarian reform beneficiaries to address malnutrition among schoolchildren. He stated that this approach not only supports local farmers but also guarantees the provision of nutritious and locally sourced food to students.

The partnership between the KARBENA and DepEd is not only about providing milk; it symbolizes a broader effort to foster self-reliance and community resilience. By leveraging the resources within their community, the association members contribute to the sustainability of both their livelihoods and the school feeding program.

“This initiative exemplifies the potential of community-led solutions to address pressing social issues,” Director Atok said. “By harnessing the expertise and resources of local farmers, we can create a more inclusive and sustainable food system that benefits everyone,” he added.

The integration of carabao’s milk supplied by agrarian reform beneficiaries into the school feeding program underscores the importance of collaboration among government agencies, civil society, and grassroots organizations in achieving social change.