Source: Dispatch Today25 Jun 2019Officials and technical staff of ministries of agriculture and national water and irrigation related agencies in Southeast Asia, local governments, irrigators' and farmers' associations, academe, and research and international organizations will convene at a program development workshop for sustainable water resource management for food security in Southeast...Read more
LOS BAÑOS, Philippines - SEARCA, in partnership with the Philippine Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), conducted the training on Financial Viability and Profitability Analysis of Agricultural Technologies and Enterprises for the third batch of participants on 3-7 June 2019 at the SEARCA Headquarters. A total of 46 selected personnel from state...Read more
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), exhorted the University of the Philippines Los Baños Institute of Crop Science (UPLB ICrops) graduating class of 2019 to step up and step out as they move forward after graduation. Occasion was the UPLB ICrops Class of 2019...Read more
During the Hooding and Recognition Ceremonies of the UPLB Graduate School held last 21 June, Mr. Gerald M. Salas was among the recipients of the Academic Achievement award for PhD graduates. He was also recognized by the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) as their Top 1 PhD Environmental Science graduate. At the College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf), Ms....Read more
Thirty-four (34) SEARCA scholars from eight (8) SEAMEO member countries completed their degrees during this Fiscal Year 2018-2019. These scholars were recognized in a Testimonial Program held on 20 June 2019 at the SEARCA Headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna Philippines. Two other grantees of the University Consortium also attended the Testimonial, which was also witnessed by family and...Read more
Dr. Cecilia N. Gascon, President of Bulacan State University (BulSU) and a SEARCA alumna, visited SEARCA on 20 June 2019 along with Dr. Remedios Azarcon, Director, BulSU Office of Faculty and Staff Development.
They met with Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, and Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, SEARCA Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development (GEID), to discuss the...Read more
(6 months contract)
Provides administrative and technical assistance to the activities of the Graduate Education and Institutional Development Department (GEIDD) particularly in the monitoring of funds including fund release, budget expenses and realignments, preparation of terminal reports and other necessary reports, designing and implementing promotional...Read more
Research and Development Generating information, knowledge, lessons, and insights that will influence policies, investments, trade, and other actions that will promote competitive agriculture, as well as inclusive and sustainable ARD. Read More
Knowledge Management Promoting a learning culture, knowledge creation, knowledge-sharing and use, with a predominant focus on the broad strategic theme of ISARD. Read More
Participatory Action Research on School- and Community-Based Food and Nutrition Program for Literacy, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development
Key accomplishments (click to download)
Project brief (click to download)
Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the overall growth and development of school children, especially in enhancing their academic performance. Essentially, nutrition is a function of children's dietary habits and the kind of food they eat. However, many families, particularly in rural areas, do not have access to nutritious food, which leads to malnutrition among school children.
The most recent update of the National Nutrition Survey1 showed that 29% of children 5-10 years of age in both rural and urban areas are underweight, while 30% are stunted. Wasting or thinness in the same age group was at a rate of 9%. High prevalence of underweight and stunting was found in the poorest quintiles with 42% and 48%, respectively.
According to the 'World Declaration on Education for All', poor health and nutrition are crucial underlying factors for low school enrolment, absenteeism, poor academic performance, and early school dropouts. In the Philippines, learning and academic performance of a significant proportion of school children are compromised due to ill health, hunger, and undernutrition. These problems typically arise due to lack of access to nutritious food (particularly vegetables) because of low household incomes that cannot cover the families' basic needs.
On the instigation of the Philippines Department of Education (DepEd), SEARCA, in cooperation with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), will implement the project "A Participatory Action Research on School and Community-based Food and Nutrition Program for Literacy, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development." It is envisaged to be a precursor of a nationwide program that addresses community food and nutrition security, specifically food utilization component, through the establishment of school gardens while promoting among students and teachers an appreciation of gardening and agriculture, in general.
The goal of the project was to improve the nutritional condition and dietary habits of school-aged children by increasing production of locally adapted vegetables through school gardening and consequently contribute to the community's food and nutrition security.
Specifically, the project aimed to:
Increase diversity and availability of food within the local community that will meet the nutritional needs of children;
Increase knowledge and improve skills of students and teachers on food production and nutrition through experiential learning activities; and
Reduce food expenses, create savings, and provide an alternative source of income for families.
Educational – Increase the relevance and quality of education of schoolchildren through experiential learning activities in food production and nutrition
Nutritional – Increase diversity and availability of food within the local community that will meet the nutritional needs of children;
Economic (Long-term) – Reduce families' food expenses, create savings, and provide an alternative source of income for families to alleviate poverty.
The Project was implemented from January 2016 to June 2017. Implementation was subdivided into three (3) phases. The preliminary phase included the selection of pilot schools, conduct of planning workshop, assessment of existing school gardens, baseline study on the nutritional status of children, preparation of garden plans, curricula review, and acquisition of garden inputs and structures.
Phase 2 involved the establishment and maintenance of the school gardens, development of lesson plans integrating agriculture and nutrition concepts to the current curriculum, organization of core groups and establishment of linkages and cross-visits, and monitoring of project sites.
Phase 3 included the following activities: harvesting of produce, assessment of garden produce and utilization, endline study on the nutritional status of children, awarding of outstanding school garden, development of upscaling strategy, and exchange learning visit to Indonesia counterpart.
Specific Objective 1. Nutrition
Improved Nutrition, Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) towards Vegetable Consumption and Production. Baseline and endline data collection on children's nutritional status and KAP have been conducted.
Specific Objective 2. Education
The six pilot schools have enhanced their respective existing gardens following the concepts of edible landscaping and organic agriculture.
One hundred and twenty-five (125) lesson plans integrating the concepts of nutrition, organic agriculture, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and solid waste management were prepared by Grade 4 and Grade 7 Science, Mathematics, English, Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan (EPP) (Home Economics) and Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) teachers.
Specific Objective 3. Economics
Improved Supply and Quality of Fresh Vegetables for the School-based Feeding Program