City of Koronadal, South Cotabato – SOCCKSARGEN Region department agencies, the City Government of Koronadal, Save the Children Foundation, Salinas Manufacturing Company and other stakeholders joined the launching of the 44th Nutrition Month celebration hosted by the Department of Agriculture XII in cooperation with the National Nutrition Council XII at the Prime Regional Government Center, Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City on July 11, 2018.

This year’s theme: “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat na Nutrisyon Aanihin,” is to ensure food source within our reach, which is our backyard.  The theme was conceptualized in response to the call to combat food insecurity, a situation when people have no access to safe and nutritious food resulting to not eating or skipping a meal that further leads to hunger and malnutrition.

In the message of Dr. Edvir Jane S. Montaner, representing Regional Director Aristides Concepcion Tan of the Department of Health XII, good health is the foundation on which a promising future is built.  Nutrition starts in food production of which the best source is from our own backyard gardens.  Through this, we are assured of food that are free from contaminants brought by pesticides and other dangerous chemicals.

During the launching, edible dish gardening was presented and demonstrated by Ms. Mitchel V. Canogaran of DA XII using herbs like thyme, chives, and basil, among others.  She explained that dish gardening is a collection of compatible plants growing and changing together over time in a small container.  It can be landscaped to represent a scene like a miniature ecosystem.  Unlike a traditional pot, there is usually no hole at the bottom of a dish garden container. Stones, gravel, coco coir, sterilized soil, appropriate plants and some decorations comprised one dish garden.

Engr. Teofilo T. Jumawan. Jr also of DA XII shared that productive family food gardening can contribute to lessen the family’s food budget by 20 percent.  It could also help address malnutrition.  Family food gardening could be an enjoyable hobby, especially by adopting various types of vegetable gardens using recyclable materials available at home.

Agencies were also encouraged to participate in the various contests lined up to celebrate the 44th Nutrition Month, these are the Nutri-Komiks contest, vegetable cooking contest, and the Search for Best Gulayan sa Paaralan at Opisina.  (Evie Arabis Cabulanan, NEDA XII-DRD)