Senator Cynthia Villar said the law institutionalizing a national feeding program will not only address undernourishment among children, but will also create a market for local dairy and vegetable farmers.
During the plenary discussions on Republic Act 11037 or the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act, Villar, chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, pushed for provisions that will make sure local farmers will also benefit from the law.
“With the provision in the law requiring the sourcing of fresh milk and fresh milk-based products from local dairy farmers and cooperatives, we are creating markets, which, if sustained, will eventually develop our local dairy industry,” the seasoned legislator said.
The veteran lawmaker added that the law she co-authored included a provision which encourages the establishment of vegetable farms that will supply the requirements of the supplemental feeding program for school children.
“This will also help vegetable farmers and backyard farmers to increase their income,” the lady senator added.
During the Farmers’ Field Day cum Technology Showcase held to celebrate the 26th anniversary of the Philippine Carabao Center in Nueva Ecija, Villar said a developed dairy industry will provide opportunities for farmers to earn more.
“A developed dairy industry will provide opportunities for farmers to earn more.”
“A housewife I met in Ubay, Bohol, gave me an idea that raising milking carabaos is profitable. She is raising three milking carabaos and the dairy processing center buys the milk, which gives her an income of 18,000 a month,” Villar said.
The Nacionalista Party senator also said this livelihood model, which she intends to establish in addition to the almost 2,000 livelihood projects she built all over the country, will be appealing to housewives who want to earn extra without the need to go far from the family home.
“I want to establish a dairy center for every province in the country so we can provide the same opportunity to other people,” she said.
“I want to establish a dairy center for every province in the country.”
Villar also said the project will help develop the dairy industry, which at present produces only 1 percent of the demand, leaving the country to import the remaining 99 percent.
“Once we increase our dairy production, we can already make milk affordable and accessible for our children,” she stressed.