LUNA, Apayao – The facility of the Roll-Out of Complementary Food Products (CFP) in the Regions, in Apayao was blessed and commissioned on July 14, 2015 at Sitio Payanan, San Gregorio,Luna Apayao. The facility was realized through a partnership project with the Department of Science and Technology(DOST) Central Office that provided the whole set of food processing equipment. This is one of only five similar facilities in the whole country, and the only one in the region.
The blessing was followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding entered into by the different stakeholders in the province and in the regional offices led by the CAR Department of Science and Technology Regional Director Julius Ceasar Sicat.
Parties who signed the MOU include the following: DOST – CAR, ASC, PLGU – Apayao, Office of the Representative – Apayao Lone Congressional Ditrict, CHED – CAR, DOH – CAR, NNC – CAR, DSWD – CAR, DEPED – CAR, DTI – CAR, DOLE – CAR and DA – CAR.
Said parties are cognizant of the need for an effective inter-agency partnership in the fight against malnutrition. This will also serve as their contribution to the regional and national development agenda for poverty alleviation and inclusive growth.
The parties shared collective aims and commitment to support the full implementation of the project by means of sustained availability of raw materials, commercial production of the complementary foods, innovation of the complementary food products, use of the complementary food product in the feeding programs and implementation of the plan towards malnutrition reduction and poverty alleviation in the province and in the region.
The said facility is expected to produce 19 milllion 30g-pack Bigba (Bigas-Balatong) curls, Bigba Sesame instant baby food blend and Bigba instant baby food blend which will eventually continuously supply its neighboring regions specifically Regions I and II .
Following the MOU signing, the parties articulated their responsibilities. The Department of Science and Technology- Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) will provide trainings on Good Manufacturing Practices and Food Safety, product upgrading, packaging and labelling, laboratory analyses and other technical assistance; the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will help in the promotion of complementary food products; the Department of Health (DOH) will facilitate feeding programs; the National Nutrition Council (NNC) will promote CFP in their Nutri-Eskwela programs; the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will encourage the Pantawid Pamilya to produce raw materials thus creating livelihood opportunities; the DepEd will patronize Bigba in their school canteens; the Department of Agriculture (DA) will facilitate the production of mongo and packaging of technologies; the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will exhibit the CFP in their Integrated Livelihood Program towards Community Enterprise Development, and provide funds for the acquisition of appropriate packaging materials; the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will promote CFP through trade fairs, and; PLGU and the Office of the Representative to augment finances needed in the the full operation of the facility.
Dr. Dacyon expressed her thanks to the representative of the host agency, DOST-CAR Director Julius Caesar Sicat for the equipment and the trainings and all the other stakeholders for their pledged support. She further expressed optimism that, with the promise of commitment of nearly all agencies, the problems on malnutrition and poverty in the province will be alleviated.