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The Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) launched the Enhanced Nutribun carrot variant on April 28, 2021 via Zoom and YouTube Live.

The virtual launching of the Enhanced Nutribun carrot variant was attended by a total of 760 participants including DOST officials, different DOST-attached agencies, DOST Regional Offices, Department of Social Welfare and Development ((DSWD), Department of Education (DepEd), National Nutrition Council (NNC) Field Offices, other government agencies, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), private organizations, other stakeholders and media partners. 

The virtual launch was also graced by DOST Secretary Hon. Fortunato T. de la Peña, Cabinet Secretary Hon. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevarra, and DOST Undersecretary for S&T Services and OIC for Undersecretary for Regional Operations Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. Dr. Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, DOST-FNRI Director IV and Scientist II welcomed the participants and gave a short rationale behind carrot as an alternative ingredient. In 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) listed carrots as fifth among the top 27 primary vegetable products. In addition, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Research, it is one of the most important vegetables commonly grown in the Philippine highlands.

Dr. Angeles-Agdeppa also noted that the use of carrots as an alternative to squash, is ideal, since both are nutritionally adequate in terms of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

This also addresses the limited supply and higher price of squash in between harvests. She encouraged existing and prospective partners to support the new Enhanced Nutribun variant as a supplementary food especially for young children.

“Bawat kagat, sustansya’y angat”, Dr. Angeles-Agdeppa stated in concluding her message.

Dr. Angeles-Agdeppa hopes that everyone will take this opportunity to contribute in easing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and nutrition of Filipinos.

“With this new variant of enhanced nutribun with carrots, existing and potential technology adoptors can now have an option when squash is expensive and in limited supply”, emphasized Hon. Fortunato T. de la Peña in his inspirational message.

Secretary de la Peña also underscored that the support of the DOST to the entrepreneurs and technology adoptors in the production and marketing of the new enhanced nutribun variant spurred job opportunities and livelihood for bakery workers of technology adoptors, bakery suppliers, and vegetable farmers.

The Secretary suggested that other vegetables, such as yellow and orange sweet potatoes and ube, be the next ingredients of future Enhanced Nutribun variants.

Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevarra mentioned that the Enhanced Nutribun is the DOST’s response to the need for nutritious food and increasing food insecurity among children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr. urged the DOST Regional Offices and provincial S&T centers to continue helping DOSTFNRI in promoting the adoption of its food technologies.

Hon. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, the lead of the InterAgency Task Force on Zero Hunger (IATFZH) also expressed his support to the DOST-FNRI’s initiative in addressing hunger and malnutrition especially among children.

CabSec Nograles also mentioned that the provision of Enhanced Nutribun was included in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Memorandum Circular No. 12 Series of 2020, known as the Guidelines in the Implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Program During the Community Quarantine Period or Other Similar Emergencies.

Leaders from other agencies including Director Lope B. Santos III of the DepEd, Cabinet Secretary Hon. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, and DOST Secretary Hon. Fortunato T. de la Peña, gave their messages during the launching of Enhanced Nutribun Carrot Variant, April 28 2021 Director Wilma D. Naviamos of the DSWD, and Executive Director Dr. Azucena M. Dayanghirang of the NNC, as well as the current DOST-FNRI technology adoptors gave their messages of support for the DOST-FNRI’s Call for Action.

Dr. Anthony P. Calibo, the DOST-FNRI Deputy Director thanked the partners, organizers, participants, current and potential technology adoptors of the virtual launch.

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