LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – Five elementary schools in Laguna have been chosen as pilot areas in the implementation of a science-based government food and nutrition program through campus gardens.
The program is called “Participatory action research on school- and community-based food and nutrition program for literacy, poverty reduction, and sustainable development.”
It involves the Department of Education headed by Secretary Armin Luistro, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture headed by Gil Saguiguit Jr., University of the Philippines-Los Baños led by chancellor Fernando Sanchez Jr., Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization College, and selected local government units of Laguna.
The program's proponents say that the youth's declining interest in agriculture and malnutrition among school children are two of the pressing challenges in agricultural development in Southeast Asia.
The program was designed to encompass three interrelated areas of intervention: nutrition (improved food diversity and availability through school gardens), education (learning-by-doing food production activities), and economics (savings on food costs and added income).