HIGHLAND Fresh, a consortium of dairy cooperatives in this part of Mindanao, has just been tapped by the city government of Cagayan de Oro for its milk feeding program for toddlers.
The city government of Cagayan de Oro led by Mayor Oscar Moreno and the National Dairy Authority (NDA) 10 under regional manager Roy Antonio Hojas inked an agreement last Monday piloting the barangay-based milk feeding program that is distributed in child development centers, formerly called day care centers.
City agriculture consultant Paul Douglas Calingin reported that the pilot phase of the program will initially benefit 1,230 children in 14 barangays in the city – Baikingon, Pagalungan, Tuburan, Tagpangi, Pigsag-an, Mambuaya, Dansolihon, Bayanga, Taglimao, Puerto, Macasandig and Barangays 28, 26 and 25.
According to Moreno, these barangays have fully functioning child development centers, thus they were piloted first.
But Councilor Annie Daba, the committee on agriculture chair, said she is looking forward for the milk feeding program to reach out to more barangays.
With the pilot phase lasting 120 calendar days, the initial start is expected to last until March. If plans don’t miscarry, it will be implemented starting on November 5, the first day of school after the Undas holidays.
Daba lauded Moreno’s milk feeding program, saying that it is a win-win solution not just for the children beneficiaries but also for the dairy farmers in the upland parts of the city who have been mushrooming the past years.
Although the milk feeding program is targeted for malnourished children elsewhere, Moreno said this does not mean that there are malnourished kids here.
“The purpose of the milk feeding is ang bright na daan mas mo-bright pa g’yud, ang taas molukso, mas taas pa g’yud lahutay pagdagan, etc. This is to maximize nourishment of the children enrolled in child development centers,” Moreno said during the launch of the program in front of barangay officials and child development teachers present during the affair.
The ages of children enrolled in child development centers vary from three to five, preparing themselves for kindergarten.
Founded in 1988, the El Salvador City-based Highland Fresh is a consortium of various dairy cooperatives based here in Northern Mindanao. It produces fresh milk, flavored milk, flavored milkbar, gouda cheese, yogurt, white cheese and pure butter.