Food security vital in improving economy, UP Dean says

Jul. 12, 2017

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The government’s goal of achieving a high income economy by 2022 will not be possible without ensuring food security for the country’s population, a University of the Philippines official said.

In her speech held at the UP Mindanao Campus Thursday last week, UP Diliman College of Mass Communication Dean Elena Pernia highlighted the need to combat malnutrition in the country because it “impacts negatively on academic performance, in particular.”

“Improvement in human knowledge capital which is so necessary to lift the country to a medium, and hopefully a high income economy by 2022 will not happen when our learners in school have limited access to food,” Pernia said.

Pernia was one of the guests at the forum titled “Food Security for Sustainable Development,” which featured the three research projects being undertaken by its faculty members.

The forum featured the ongoing research projects undertaken by Dr. Juma Novie Alviola, Dr. Emma Ruth Bayogan, and Dr. Cleto Nañola. all faculty members of UP Mindanao’s College of Science and Mathematics.

Alviola’s research, titled “Utlization of Sag Flour to improve Nutritional profile of Selected Food Products” looked into the use of the Sago Flour as a substitute to rice and wheat flours in favor of enriching its nutritional value.

Bayogan’s study, the “Postharvest Quality Maintenance of Pummelo [Citrus maxima Burm. Ex Rumph] Fruit using 1-Methylcyclopropene and Chitosan” looked into using 1-Methylcyclopropene and Chitosan as cheaper methods of preserving the Pummelo Fruit’s “quality under ambient conditions.”

Meanwhile, Nañola’s “Connectedness of different reef fish populations among bays and gulf” looked into how certain species of reef fishes collected from the Pujada Bay, Sarangani Bay, and Davao Gulf exhibited “morphological differentiations” due to ecological adaptations, despite being separated only by 100 km of seawater.

The three research projects, said Pernia, shares the common tread of aiming to “improve food security, eradicate hunger both for the short term as well as well as in a sustainable manner, for the longer term.” (

  • Juan Maria Pablo Nanagas

    I hope that once we have food security achieved, we will try for food independence

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