Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Agencies in Region 8 commended over food security

THE National Nutrition Council (NNC) lauded some government agencies and local government units for their efforts to secure food in Eastern Visayas, particularly in the nutritionally depressed province of Samar.

NNC regional program coordinator Carina Santiago said these recent development in Samar, where the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have recently launched several projects, is a big boost to the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

The DA and BFAR have recently launched big projects in Samar such as irrigation and mussel culture and the putting up of a multi-species freshwater fish hatchery.

BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo III said the multi-species freshwater fish hatchery would also supply tilapia fingerlings to farmers who would like to undertake inland fish pond projects.

"It's not only the fisherfolks who are benefited but also the farmers because they can convert a part of their land for fish culture," he said.

"We appreciate all their efforts because these will all contribute to the efforts of the NNC, especially the anti-hunger task force, to improve food security in the region," Santiago said.

She also cited the local chief executives who would be implementing the projects in their respected areas.

But she said it would be better if the local government units would implement a complementary program such as on education of mothers and care givers.

"We will appreciate the LGUs more if more nutrition programs will be implemented because we could see that one of the causes of malnutrition in the region is because the mother or care giver do not have enough knowledge on how to properly take care of their children like the giving of nutritious and proper food," she said.

According to the results of the 2010 Operation Timbang (OPT), the top two nutritionally depressed municipalities in Eastern Visayas are the municipalities of Tarangnan and Almagro, both in Samar.

Five other Samar towns are included in the top 20 nutritionally depressed municipalities in the region, according to results of the OPT 2010 in Eastern Visayas.

However, the overall results of the 2010 OPT showed that malnutrition among preschoolers that year has slightly decreased compared to the previous year.

Santiago attributed the decline to the people "now being aware that nutrition is important in development."

Source: Sun Star Tacloban

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