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Xavier University (XU) and Mindanao University Science and Technology (MUST) signed yesterday a memorandum of agreement (MOA) as recipients to the technology transfer of processing equipment of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children (Pinoy) project in Cagayan de Oro City.

The target is zero malnutrition by 2015 said Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, director of FNRI-DOST. Such project and technology transfer is our response to malnutrition problem throughout the country. If we double the efforts, we meet the target, he said.

The project is a 120-feeding day program to identified 6-35 months underweight children. These select kids will be fed with complementary food blends and snack foods produced by this technology which include Rice-Mongo Instant Blend, Rice-Mongo-sesame-blend (ready to cook), and Rice-Mongo Curls. These are complementary foods rich in energy and protein suitable for babies and snacks appropriate for toddlers.

Other provinces who were endowed with the program have already gained positive results specifically the provinces of Antique, Occidental Mindoro, Leyte, and Iloilo. There will also be nutrition education for mothers and caregivers using DOST Pinoy modules.

Locally, said project will enable the two recipient institutions to produce FNRI-developed complementary food blends and snack foods and cater especially to malnourished children in relocation sites where Sendong survivors are now living.

As one of the signatories and one who helped push this project, Cong. Rufus Rodriquez of Cagayan de Oro, acknowledged partners of this endeavor specifically the two universities and DOST-FNRI.

This project will help establish CDeO city to have children capable of understanding, have the mental ability to finish school and live their lives because they were given enough nutrition at a young age.

Fr. Roberto Yap, SJ said, “We could have not coped Sendong if it were not for partnerships. Now, we have learned our lesson in Pablo.” On the other hand, malnutrition is a bigger challenge than the calamity because it is hidden, it’s not dramatic. It is also persistent and goes on and on. We need to muster the energy and creativity to solve this problem, he stressed.

This is a greater social engagement wherein we have the opportunity to do social outreach, put learning for service of other people, Fr. Yap said.

Vanessa Escaño, VP Finance of MUST, said we are committed and we want this to be sustainable, not just months but years further. We want to contribute in this area of social work.

Among the signatories of the MOA were Dir. Alfonso Alamban, DOST 10 director, Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, director FNRI-DOST, Cong, Rufus Rodriguez, Fr. Roberto Yap, SJ, XU president, and Dr. Ricardo E. Rotoras, MUST president.

FNRI have made this technology open. The LGU can set up production facility for complementary foods and funding for production in their corresponding barangays and implement the DOST PINOY intervention package. Entrepreneurs can also adopt the FNRI complementary food technology for commercialization. (Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat/PIA10)

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