MANILA, Philippines — Local farmers are prepared to meet the fresh milk requirement of the School-Based Milk Feeding Program with the resumption of classes nationwide, according to the National Dairy Authority (NDA).

In collaboration with the Department of Education, the NDA is actively executing the School-Based Milk Feeding Program (MFP), which currently benefits undernourished children from Kinder to Grade 6.

This initiative ensures a consistent supply of local fresh milk from NDA-assisted cooperatives, sustaining both the livelihood of local dairy farmers and the quality of fresh milk that children consume.

“Our local dairy farmers are ready to meet the demand of the DepEd. What we want is to raise a new generation of fresh milk drinkers, children who reap the nutritional rewards of fresh milk consumption,” NDA administrator Gabriel Lagamayo said.

The DepEd, along with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), provides a sure market for local dairy farmers, as their locally-produced milk remains to be its priority for the program.

As of December 2022, a total of 14.8 million liters of milk were provided and consumed by 2.8 million school children under the MFP.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed domestic dairy output jumped by 15 percent to 30.28 million liters last year to 26.3 million liters in 2021.

For this year, the country’s dairy output is projected to surpass 2022’s turnout due to the strong demand of the government-led MFP.

As classes resume, the NDA highlighted the crucial role of fresh milk consumption in boosting academic and cognitive performance among students.

Recognizing the link between nutrition and scholastic excellence, the NDA continues to advocate the integration of fresh milk consumption into students’ daily routines.

Studies have consistently underscored the pivotal role of proper nutrition in facilitating optimal cognitive function and academic achievement.

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