“We also have cooperatives to penetratefar-flung barangays and buy palay,” hesaid. (With PNA/PN) ILOILO – Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. plans to request a supplemental budget tohelp small farmers affected by falling palay prices. The SP, through the committee onagriculture, has coordinated with the NFA regarding the matter. “We are perfecting the program design tooffer loan for cooperatives,” the governor said. Initially, the fund for the program wasmulled to be sourced from a loan in the Land Bank of the Philippines. “We went back to our experiences in thepast and it’s quite tough (for the province to loan). So, what needs to be donehere is that we will request a supplemental budget from the SangguniangPanlalawigan (SP) to fund that if ever,” he added. However, upon review, Defensor said thatit was not viable for the province. The provincial government, according to Defensor,intends to offer an interest-free loan to farmer cooperatives, which in turnwould buy palay from small farmers atpremium prices. The fund will be considered as“subsidy,” which will be used to buy palay fromsmall farmers that lack access to drying facilities and are far from the buyingstations of the National Food Authority (NFA). On Tuesday, the SP passed a resolutionurging the NFA to put up a mobile buying station in every municipality to caterto accredited cooperatives and local farmers. Defensor also backed the plan of the NFAto bring palay buying stations near ruralfarmers. Due to logistical constraints, the NFAcannot reach towns in Iloilo to buy palay, Defensorsaid, but the province and municipalities would help the agency in getting tothe farmers. The resolution aims to lessen theexpenses of farmers in transporting their produce through permanent buyingstation in their own municipalities. The buying stations of the NFA arecurrently located at its main office in this city’s Jaro district, and in thetowns of Dumangas, Pototan and San Dionisio.
Canada’s dietitians and pediatricians are discouraging parents from relying on plant-based drinks — such as rice, coconut and almond milks — as the main beverage for babies and young kids.Dr. Catherine Pound of the Canadian Paediatric Society said Wednesday that some plant-based beverages are not fortified with any minerals or vitamins and often contain sugar as the second ingredient after water.“There’s a bit of a push from the health movement where people think or feel that plant-based nutrition is better than meat-based nutrition, which may be true in adulthood where we are recommending to move away from eating meat very frequently, but the same doesn’t hold true for children who need the protein,” says Pound.“We see parents that are well-intentioned that are moving to a plant-based beverage for their children thinking they are doing a good thing while actually they are withholding important nutrients and proteins.”Kids aged two to eight need 13 to 19 grams of protein per day, which can be met with two cups of cow milk or two cups of fortified soy beverage.Meanwhile, almond, coconut or rice drinks contain little to no protein and would require kids to also eat two child-sized servings of meat or two half-cup servings of lentils. Almond drinks only contain about four almonds per cup.The experts say the best foods for growing children are whole, fresh and unprocessed fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, dairy and meats.And while fats are avoided by many adults, they are a valuable nutrient for young children, says Pound.“Fat is extremely important for a child or a toddler because it certainly contributes to brain growth,” she says.“We do not want to restrict fat at all for the first couple years of life.”In the case of allergies or other concerns, Pound says parents should consult a dietitian.The joint statement with the Dietitians of Canada also warned that drinking too much of the plant-based beverages can displace hunger and cause children to eat less food.If possible, infants should be exclusively breast fed for the first six months, and continued for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding. Otherwise, babies can drink formula or pasteurized human milk from screened donors.Cow milk is not recommended before nine to 12 months of age. Full fat homogenized cow milk is then recommended for kids until age two.