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By Prince Golez

The government’s Zero Hunger Task Force and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) virtually launched the government’s Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program in Nueva Ecija recently.

“Through EPAHP, our partner agencies are able to directly offer assistance to farmers and community-based organizations in areas of market access, credit assistance, food production training and networking,” according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, head of both the Task Force and the NIA Board.

Nograles said the program is tied to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, and related issuances of President Rodrigo Duterte, which are all aimed at reducing poverty incidence to 14 percent by 2022.

According to the Palace official, a key component of EPAHP is the KUMAIN Webinar Series where micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) tied to the Department of Trade and Industry, the Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network of the National Nutrition Council, local government units, and state universities and colleges are encouraged to participate in our Zero Hunger Initiatives.

“We want more groups and individuals to participate. We’re accelerating our orientations and webinars in order to get more stakeholders involved,” he said.

“Our short term objective is to educate them about the need for increased agricultural production so we can achieve the longer term goal of food security and the elimination of hunger and poverty,” he added.

Nograles also thanked the irrigation agency for conducting 12 EPAHP program orientations in different regions since May.

“It’s crucial that we educate stakeholders about EPAHP and let them know what the program aims to achieve for them. That’s why these orientations conducted by the NIA are significant. We want our farmers’ active engagement and participation and we want to fully reach out to them,” he concluded.

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