by Aileen Joy M. Subade
Malnutrition is one of the many problems that our country is facing right now. According to studies conducted by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), about 29,000 children are dying every year due to under nutrition in the world.
Under nutrition to children resulted to stunting, anemia and iodine deficiency which contributed to Philippines loss up to Php 200B every year. Nutrition is vital to early childhood development. Under nutrition during child’s early years may result to poor brain development which will eventually lead to irreversible chronic illness.
The town of Tibiao tops the list of municipalities with the highest number of malnourished children in the province of Antique. With this, the Department of Agriculture-Gender and Development (DA-GAD) Focal Point System together with the Office of the Provincial Agriculture conducted a feeding activity in observance to the National Nutrition Month last July 27, 2018.
With this year’s theme “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat na Nutrition Aanihin”, the technology of urban and container gardening was taught to some thirty (30) mothers of the municipality.
Emerson Ogatis of DA-Research Outreach Station in Patnongon, Antique said that small spaces can be a good vegetable production area and empty plastic bottles could be recycled into usable pots.
He stressed that nutrition starts at home and children eat what is being served to them.
Ogatis encouraged parents to grow their own food and do not rely on the market. “When we grow our own food, we are sure that what we are serving on our table is fresh, clean, and free from pesticides and other chemicals,” he noted.
Vegetables grown in our backyard gardens could be a source of additional income when sold to local markets or delivered to nearby schools or canteen.
Participants received planting materials, vegetable seeds and information materials as starter kit for their backyard gardens. The GAD also distributed gift packs composed of milk, powdered chocolate drink, rice and fruits.
This is the 3rd celebration of DA-GAD Feeding Activity. The first feeding activity was on Maasin, Iloilo (2016) followed by Tapaz, Capiz (2017).