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Agrarian co-ops to feed 800 school children

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Z WEB 20151221 NATL R08 SAMAR PHOTOCALBIGA, SAMAR – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Cabilga municipal government recently forged an agreement to feed 800 school children with a healthy diet derived from fresh vegetables harvested from farms of local agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Leovigildo Monge said “this will be implemented under the Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP) program aimed at enhancing the nutritional needs of children in 39 day-care centers here.”

Under the agreement, the DAR, through its four agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs), will provide the fresh vegetables and will sell them to the DSWD’s municipal office who will, in turn, prepare the dishes for the school children.

The program also seeks to provide the four ARBOs steady market outlets for their organically produced vegetables.

“The PAHP program hits two birds with one stone. First, the children will be fed with organic nutritious food for free and second, our farmers will earn extra income from selling their produce,” said Monge.

Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Eva Ranas said the ARBOs’ monthly requirement for the daily feeding program would include: 48 kilos of tomatoes, 26 kilos sayote, 26 kilos kangkong, 33 kilos ampalaya, 18 kilos ginger, 67 kilos squash, 53 kilos sitaw, 93 kilos yellow papaya, 16 kilos green papaya and 26 kilos malunggay.

“The farmers would deliver their products on a weekly basis. And we have assured them that we will purchase their organic vegetables using the prevailing market price,” said Ranas.

The four ARBOs involved in the project are: the Bulao Farmers Association, Canbagtic Farmers Association, Macaalan Farmers Association and the Panayuran Farmers Association.

PHAP is a collaborative effort of various agencies to engage poor households and work closely with the rural communities to provide essential social and economic services toward eliminating hunger and alleviating poverty in the countryside. (Jose Alsmith L. Soria)

Photo: Mayor Melchor Nacario (seated, second from left) and Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Leovigildo Monge (seated, third from left) sign Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP) program in Calbiga, Samar. Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Eva Ranas (seated extreme left), Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Liberty Lobiano (seated, extreme right) and members of the four agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) who are going to supply farm products witness the event.

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