DOST DavOcc delivers iron-fortified rice to 100 children in Sarangani

SARANGANI, Davao Occidental (PIA) — About 100 children aged 10 and below in Sarangani, Davao Occidental, have benefited from the Iron-Fortified Rice (I-Rice) program of the Department of Science and Technology, which aims to combat iron deficiency and promote better nutrition among young children in the country.

The DOST Davao Occidental recently spearheaded the distribution of five to 10 kilos of the iron-fortified rice to the parents of the identified undernourished children in the island municipality of Sarangani. 

Arlene Pusod, whose six-year old child is underweight, expressed gratitude to the DOST’s program to help her child receive proper nutrition and to eventually perform better at school.

“Dakong tabang jud ni nga programa kay ganahan na mokaon akong anak. Akong sagulan og gulay para mas masustansya pa ang ginakaon (The program is a big help because my child now has an appetite to eat. I mix it with vegetables to provide for more nutrients),” Pusod said.  

The I-Rice distribution was in collaboration with the Municipal Social Work and Development Office (MSWDO) of Sarangani, which identified the children based on their need for additional nutritional support. 

The program also engaged parents and guardians, equipping them with essential knowledge on how to address their children’s health needs through proper nutrition.

Robelyn G. Pulido, DOST XI’s registered dietitian and science research analyst, emphasized the importance of iron in children’s diets and explained how I-Rice could significantly improve their nutritional status. 

“Iron deficiency is a major cause of undernourishment in children. By incorporating I-Rice into their meals, we can ensure they receive the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development,” said Pulido. 

DOST XI regional director Dr. Anthony Sales, who also graced the distribution together with DOST Science and Technology Information Institute director Richard Burgos, highlighted the broader impact of such initiatives. 

“This distribution is not just about providing food, it’s also about fostering a healthier future for our children,” Sales said. 

“By leveraging scientific advancements, we can tackle malnutrition effectively and empower communities with the knowledge to maintain proper nutrition,” he added. 

The I-Rice distributed during the event is a product of advanced research and innovation, developed using a low-cost blending machine co-created by DOST’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) and HDN Technologies, an equipment fabricator. 

This technology offers a sustainable and cost-effective solution to address iron deficiency, which remains a prevalent issue in many communities. (RVC/CLC/PIA-XI with photos and reports from DOST-XI)

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DOST XI regional director Dr. Anthony Sales (2nd from left) and DOST Science and Technology Information Institute director Richard Burgos (1st from right) grace the distribution of I-RICE in the municipality of Sarangani, Davao Occidental. Also in photo is DOST Davao Occidental provincial director Maria Victoria Dado (1st from left). (PIA XI)
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The distribution of I-RICE in the municipality of Sarangani, Davao Occidental. (PIA-XI)
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The distribution of I-RICE in the municipality of Sarangani, Davao Occidental. (PIA-XI)
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The children beneficiaries of the Iron-Fortified Rice (I-Rice) program of the Department of Science and Technology, which aims to combat iron deficiency and promote better nutrition among young children in the country. (PIA XI)
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