Some 5,130 undernourished children are expected to benefit from the recently launched provincewide community milk feeding program in Bohol.
The initial delivery of 200-ml toned milk to five municipalities on May 6, 2020 launched the partnership between the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Ubay Stock Farm (DA-PCC at USF) and Bohol Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) for the said program.
“Bohol Governor Arthur Yap approved the Php6 million-worth program to help dairy farmers market their milk produce even in the time of pandemic. While aiming for this, we also want to boost the immunity of those belonging in the vulnerable sectors”, Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, the provincial veterinarian of Bohol, said.
Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian crafted the Agricultural Rural Transformation (ART) program through the dairy production project.
The ART detailed the major strategies and activities to be carried out to ensure that there would be enough supply of locally produced milk to meet the requirement of the Department of Education (DepEd) under RA 11037 or the National Feeding Program Act.
The supposed implementation of the national milk feeding program was, however, indefinitely deferred due to the pandemic but production support services such as artificial insemination (AI) will continue.
Farmers who will be participating in the feeding project will be enrolled in a database to ensure that they will comply to the directive of Governor Yap on boosting local milk production.
“Initially nakasugod na gayud sa San Miguel. Nag actual nag enrollment sa mga additional na kabaw sa mga farmers. Naabtan man ta sa COVID mao to medyo ni hinay para pagtabok sa pikas nga lungsod peru despite adto nakasugod naman lagi padayon me sa A.I ug enrollment. For San Miguel alone naka enroll ta ug 160 ka mga kabaw for dairy (We started enrolling additional farmers’ carabaos in San Miguel. Travelling to the municipalities, however, became restricted because of COVID but we were still able to enroll 160 head of carabaos for dairy in San Miguel alone”, Dr. Lapiz said.
She added the PLGU intends to use the fund for milk importation to help local farmers instead of patronizing imported produce.
Meanwhile, DA-PCC at USF facilitates and monitors the production of quality milk, ensures that milk products adhere to food safety and standards, and assists the delivery to beneficiaries.
The community feeding program, which is hoped to culminate in August 2020 and will run for 60 days, is co-implemented by the Bohol Provincial Education Center and Provincial Nutrition Council, and. The participating municipalities include the following: Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, Talibon, Bien Unido, Getafe, Buenavista, Ubay, San Miguel, Sagbayan, Danao, Pilar, Alicia, Guindulman, Baclayon, Sevilla, Balilihan, Carmen, and Cortes.
Milk will be sourced out from the Bohol Dairy Cooperative (BODACO).