NFA recruits more than 1M food guardians
The National Food Authority (NFA) has recruited more than one million Filipinos as ‘food guardians’, volunteers aiming to instill the values of not wasting rice to help ensure the availability and affordability of rice.
The NFA launched its Food Guardian campaign during its 43rd anniversary in September 2015 with the hashtag #1for100millioniNFAntry that also attracted celebrities including such as Anne Curtis, Alden Richards, the band Parokya ni Edgar, and folk singer Noel Cabangon among others.
Among the goals of a food guardian includes ensuring the affordability and visibility of rice in the markets and following correct handling procedures to ensure that rice is safe and avoid waste.
The campaign was launched to raise awareness on the importance of looking after rice, the country’s staple food, and the huge amount of rice that is wasted every day.
As of April 27, 2016, some 1,163,859 signed up to be food guardians on social media (foodguardian.me) and at the sign up desks in NFA offices and other venues.
Citing a study, the NFA said Filipinos waste an average of two tablespoons of rice every day. Assuming a population of 100 million, the wastage translates to 3.3 kilos of rice a day or 330,000 metric tons a year. In peso terms, the value of rice wasted amounts to P27 million a day or P10 billion a year.
“At the country’s current average daily rice consumption of 32,150 metric tons, the total annual rice wastage, if saved, can already feed all of the 100 million Filipinos for more than 10 days and spare the government thousands of dollars from rice importation for food security stocks. The P10 billion savings can be used to help improve the productivity of our farmers and finance other social services,” NFA administrator Renan Dalisay said.
The NFA continues to accept food guardian volunteers.