Milk for Today’s Youth: NDA strengthens nutritional program nationwide

No one can refute that fresh milk is one of the super foods known to mankind and nowadays, eating the right food has been our top priority. The Philippine government has banked on this and the fact that simply keeping the younger generations healthy and strong is relevant for building a vibrant future for the nation.

Hence, through the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), a partnership was recently forged, and a program is set to be implemented to provide and promote the right nutrition for every young Juan and Juana nationwide.

Republic Act No. 11037 titled “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act” has triggered the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the DepEd and the National Dairy Authority (NDA) of the DA to assure the steady presence of fresh milk and fresh milk-based products in the School-based Feeding Program (SBFP) as a healthy complement to hot meals.

As of the latest official record, the project targets to benefit a total of 828, 647 school children who will be provided, for a period of at least 20 days, with complete meals together with locally produced milk that is sourced from NDA-assisted dairy farmers and cooperatives.  

Led by Administrator Marilyn B. Mabale, NDA promotes “Nutrition for All, Livelihood for the dairy farmers” and believes that this on-going endeavor irrevocably hits two birds with one stone. First, the top benefit of this program is that undernourished children are able to receive the right nutrition essential for their healthy development and active learning. Second, the program has opened up the much-needed stable livelihood opportunity for local dairy farmers especially during this time of the pandemic. 

But aside from the current SBFP being conducted with DepEd, NDA also runs its own Milk Feeding Program (MFP) seeking to address the nutritional concerns of Filipino children and to uphold the local dairy farming industry in the country. This banner program is being conducted in partnership with other government organizations; schools; local government units; non-government organizations; foreign assisted programs; and individuals.  

NDA is one of the younger government-owned and controlled corporations of the Philippine government, yet it has been active and strategic in accelerating the development of the Philippine dairy industry since 1995. NDA is basically at the forefront in directing policies and coordinating and implementing all programs related to the Philippine dairy industry.

Fore-sighting a sustainable and competitive dairy industry where it’s a win-win-win situation for the consumers, farmers, and businesses, NDA is set and determined to intensify its strategies and programs until every Filipino drinks quality local milk and every dairy farmer is empowered.