Nutrition and Food Security Programs
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and body, affecting their ability to do well in school and earn a good living as an adult. Nutrition plays a vital role in a child’s development and eventually, in a
country’s ability to prosper.
In this light, the RTS program was designed as a multi-stakeholder, multisectoral
initiative aimed at nurturing and transforming human potential. With particular focus on the earliest stages of child development, the initiative aims to foster the right conditions for children to take root, grow and branch out to reach their full potential. RTS brings together elements of health and nutrition, food security and livelihood
(FSL), and water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in a community based
approach to ensure that the next generation are given their best chance to survive, thrive and grow to be responsible and productive members of society.
Roots to Shoots (RTS) is a 3-year program that aims to improve the nutrition and food security status of undernourished communities in the Philippines, with a focus in the priority areas defined in the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022.
RTS combines nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions and is collaboratively implemented by Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), World Vision Development Foundation (WVDF), and Manila Water Foundation (MWF).
The Shell Training Farms (currently located in the provinces of Palawan, Camarines Sur and Pililla, Rizal) espouse the Integrated Farming Bio-systems (IFBS) Program, one of the earliest projects of PSFI. IFBS is designed to promote the benefits of sustainable crop production, animal husbandry, and agro-forestry, conversion of farm wastes into bio-fertilizers and farm entrepreneurship. The program also addresses various farm issues faced by farming communities, particularly on soil erosion, fishpond water and soil pollution, and on the high cost of inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds.
When the sugar industry experienced a steady decline in the 1980s, Negros Occidental farmers, being at the centre of sugar plantations, were most affected. PSFI saw the need to support and assist displaced sugar plantation workers and small farmers, resulting to the establishment of the first Shell Training Farm (STF) in Negros.
STF-Negros became a venue to provide opportunities for the upskilling and livelihood expansion of farmers, where they attended trainings to learn the latest technologies and techniques in farm planning, upland or lowland rice farming, corn production, backyard vegetable and herbal plants gardening, aquaculture, poultry, cattle fattening and swine raising, among many others. The operations and maintenance of the STF was sustained through revenues generated from selling farm produce such as bio-fertilizer, palay seeds, piglets, eggs and also through funds provided by PSFI coming from its interest income.
Seeing the significance this has brought to the agriculture sector, PSFI eventually established STFs in provinces around the country over the years with the help of various government and non-government institutions. Currently, PSFI agriculture experts spearheads the operations of STFs in Camarines Sur, Rizal and Palawan, while the farms in Negros and Benguet have been turned over to trusted local partners.