Theme: Ugaliing magtanim, sapat na nutrisyon aanihin!
Nutrition Month is a yearly campaign held every July to create greater awareness among Filipinos on the importance of nutrition. Presidential Decree 491 or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines mandates the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to lead and coordinate the nationwide campaign.
Every year, the NNC Technical Committee chooses a theme to highlight an important and timely concern in nutrition. This year, the selected focus of the Nutrition Month campaign is on food gardening. The NNC conducted a theme writing ang logo design contest where the best entries were shortlisted and submitted to the NNC Technical Committee for referendum. The chosen theme is “Ugaliing magtanim, sapat na nutrisyon aanihin!” The entry of Ms. Julie Ann Q. Colipano of Valencia City, Bukidnon was chosen out of 142 entries generated nationwide. For the logo, the entry sent by Architect Ricky R. Mojica of Indang, Cavite was chosen. The logo depicts a family cultivating a family food garden, a picture that the NNC hopes Filipinos would turn into reality.
The Nutrition Month campaign aims to contribute to improved nutrition through improved food access by increasing the number of households, schools, and communities engaged in food gardens. Specifically, it aims to: encourage development of food gardens among families; and, mobilize various stakeholders to provide a fostering environment for sustainable food gardens.
This year’s celebration focuses on food gardening for the following reasons:
- Prevent micronutrient deficiencies through diet diversification
- Reduce food insecurity or food poverty
- Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Impact of food gardening to society
Food gardens refer to “an intimate, multi-storey combinations of various trees and crops, sometimes in association with domestic animals, around homesteads, and add that home garden cultivation is fully or partially committed for vegetables, fruits, and herbs, primarily for domestic consumption and secondary for additional household income.” Sustainable food production such as food gardens may also give focus towards livestock raising, which is the rearing of animals like cows and small animals like chickens, goats and ducks, and raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities (meat, eggs, or milk). Food gardens tend to be located close to dwelling for security, convenience, and special care. They occupy a land marginal to field production and labor marginal to major household economic activities.
Alternatively, food gardens are also called the following: mixed-garden horticulture, house garden, compound farm garden, kitchen garden, household garden, and homestead agroforestry.
Food gardens have been an integral part of local food systems in many developing countries around the world. Numerous studies provide descriptive evidence and analysis of food gardens in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and pinpoint their benefits to communities and families. Primarily, food gardens are intended to grow and produce food items for family and community consumption, but they can also be diversified to produce outputs that have multiple benefits. Among these benefits are the following:
- Improve nutritional status
- Improve household food security
- Increase availability of food and better nutrition through food diversity
- Increase local biodiversity
- Alleviate food shortages during disaster
- Increase household income
- Offer opportunities for women, youth, elderly, and the disabled
- Foster community mobilization
- Health intervention
Families can be encouraged to have food gardens by having these motivations:
- A family food garden is one of the joys of life.
- Food is best when grown at home and with love.
- There is money in my food garden.
- My garden, best bonding moment with family.