Butil launches P2-M milk feeding program-A A +A
Saturday, January 26, 2013
ARAYAT, Pampanga -- The Butil Farmers Party, in coordination with the National Dairy Authority (NDA) and the Municipal Government of Arayat, launched the first-ever P2 million worth community-based Milk Feeding Program here.
The event was led by Butil Representative Agapito H. Guanlao, at the Glorietta Center in Barangay Plazang Luma here.
At least 400 participants composed of Barangay and Municipal Health Workers, Barangay Nutrition Scholars, nurses and doctors, mothers and children took part in this momentous event.
Local and barangay officials led by Arayat Vice Mayor Larry Trinidad as well as representatives from the Departments of Social Welfare and Development and Interior and Local Government, were likewise present to express their support to the Milk Feeding Program.
Establishing a partnership with the National Dairy Authority was made by the Butil Farmers Party.
Section 16 of R.A. 7884, otherwise known as the National Dairy Development Act of 1995, provides that the Authority shall provide support for the government’s nutrition program by producing milk and dairy products sourced from small farmers and dairy cooperatives nationwide.
“This partnership with the NDA also solidifies the Butil Farmers Party’s commitment to integrate farmers and small farmers’ associations into the economic mainstream of the agricultural industry. With Butil’s advocacy to help prop up the livelihood potentials of farmers, the capacity and experience of the NDA in implementing milk feeding programs nationwide shall help improve the dietary and health conditions of malnourished children in rural and urban communities while sustaining the livelihood and entrepreneurship opportunities of local dairy farmers,” Guanlao said.
An agreement has been forged between the Butil Farmers Party and the National Dairy Authority to jointly cooperate in implementing the Milk feeding Program. The BUTIL Farmers Party identified and selected communities where the program is to be implemented.
It complied with the criteria set by the NDA such as choice of communities registering a high incidence of malnourished children in the area; proximity of the feeding center to the source of milk; accessibility of the feeding center to transportation; and, not being a recipient of any existing feeding program.
“Based on these criteria, Arayat is a perfect choice as a pilot area for the program’s implementation because of the high incidence of malnutrition among pre-school children,” Guanlao added.
Also, according to 2011 data from the National Nutrition Center, pre-school children from Arayat that have undergone the Center’s Operation Timbang, registered the highest number of underweight and severely underweight children compared to other municipalities in Pampanga. One of the most severe causes of extremely low weight among children includes malnutrition and non-access to food with high nutritional content.
“With the objectives of the Milk Feeding Program of providing milk to boost the health of school children, procuring milk from dairy farmers, and promoting vegetable farming, the BUTIL Farmers Party, the National Dairy Authority and the Municipality of Arayat will indeed be instrumental in turning the said phrase into a realistic accomplishment,” Guanlao added.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 27, 2013.