Hunger and malnutrition are among the most urgent concerns of Filipinos, heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey by the Social Weather Stations found that 20.9 percent or 5.2 million Filipinos experienced hunger from May to July 2020, the highest recorded since September 2014.
In addressing this challenge, Task Force Zero Hunger (TFZH) has initiated Pilipinas Kontra Gutom (PKG), a national and multi-sectoral movement against hunger composed of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private companies from different industries. The program aims to reach one million Filipinos by 2022 and end hunger in 2030 by implementing the following work streams: ensuring food availability and accessibility, securing nutrition adequacy, and providing assistance for farmers and fisherfolk.
Nestlé Philippines is the private sector co-lead of work stream #1 – food availability and accessibility – through its NESCAFÉ Plan, with the vision to elevate farming as a dignified, sustainable profession. Government partners for work stream #1 are the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agrarian Reform, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Within PKG, Nestlé Philippines through its NESCAFÉ Plan will provide mentorship in agricultural technology and training to farmers, with the NESCAFÉ Better Farming Practices helping them improve the quality and quantity of their coffee yields using more sustainable and profitable methods.
The NESCAFÉ Plan is a global initiative that helps ensure a sustainable supply of quality green coffee. Through it, coffee farmers are provided access to superior quality plantlets, technology transfer via training, a support network of agronomists, and strategically located buying stations close to coffee areas so farmers can sell directly to Nestlé.
“Nestlé Philippines is proud to support the Pilipinas Kontra Gutom Movement. In line with one of PKG’s thrusts focusing on farming assistance, we want to make coffee farming a sustainable livelihood for our local farmers in the economic, environmental and social aspects. With the NESCAFÉ Plan, they can learn about the best available technologies and techniques that seek to elevate coffee farming from subsistence to agripreneurship, enhancing their quality of life,” said Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki.
Nestlé agronomist conducting training for farmers under the Nescafé Plan.
Fourth from left is Sec. William Dar – Secretary of Department of Agriculture, who led the National Food Security Summit with the theme “Food for today and beyond: transforming Philippine Agriculture”. During the closing ceremony, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles presented Pilipinas Kontra Gutom with support from the private sector including Nestlé PH.