TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) on Friday forged a new partnership agreement to carry out the dietary supplementation program in agrarian reform communities in Eastern Visayas.

DAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu and NNC Nutrition Program coordinator Catalino Dotollo Jr. signed a memorandum of understanding at the DAR regional office for the implementation of phase six of the “Tutok Kainan.”

The agreement will pave the way to address the needs of nutritionally at-risk pregnant women in 54 towns in the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar, who are the recipients of phase six of the said program.

Under this partnership, DAR will recommend agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) in target areas capable of supplying fresh farm products, while NNC will serve as a direct market, buying fresh food items from the ARBOs needed in the preparation of supplemental food for pregnant women.

“With our ‘Tutok Kainan,’ we also want our ARBOs to have income while addressing malnutrition and hunger among our children and pregnant women. It’s hitting two birds with our engagement with the DAR through their respective beneficiaries,” Dotollo said.
Last year, eight ARBOs from the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar and Northern Samar entered into a PHP10.2-million marketing agreement with NNC for phases three and five of “Tutok Kainan.”

“This is a golden opportunity to establish new industries, paving the way for new projects and other enterprises to cater to the entrepreneurial needs of our agrarian reform beneficiaries and their organizations,” Yu said.

“Tutok Kainan” focuses on a much-needed nutrition intervention: dietary supplementation for nutritionally at-risk populations, especially during the pandemic when the livelihoods of marginalized families are at stake.

The program underscores the need to closely monitor the nutrition of the target beneficiary during the crucial period of the first 1,000 days to prevent low birth weight and stunting.