Integrated Approach to Address Food and Nutrition Security in the Philippines

Malnutrition remains a serious problem in the Philippines, especially among children. Could integrated garden and nutrition programs at schools help address the problem?

An estimated 3 million children in the Philippines are undernourished. According to the latest study by the country's Food and Nutrition Research Institute, three in every 10 Filipino children aged five and younger are too short for their age, while two in every 10 are underweight. School-based programs that integrate gardens and nutrition interventions have been identified as one way to help improve food security among children. However, more information is needed to determine what combination of agriculture and nutrition activities will have the greatest impact on nutrition, while also being cost-effective.

This project will model an integrated food security intervention to address undernourished school children in 27 school districts of the Philippines. The model will combine three complementary activities: planting vegetable gardens, fortifying food with micronutrients, and educating children and their parents on nutrition and diet. The project will test and adapt ways to maximize vegetable production and will identify sustainable, bio-intensive garden practices using local knowledge and plant varieties.

To determine how effective the model is, researchers will measure changes in the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of children and their parents about diet and nutrition. They will also monitor the nutritional status of the children - using measures such as height and weight - and look for demonstrated diversity in their diets.

The multidisciplinary study will be implemented by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, in collaboration with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the Philippines Department of Education. They will use the results of the research to develop recommendations for national policies and programming for integrated nutrition programs in Philippine schools.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, March 1, 2012

End Date

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


36 months

IDRC Officer

Wesley, Annie

Total funding

CA$ 354,100


Far East Asia, Philippines, Central Asia, South Asia


Agriculture and Food Security

Project Leader

Emilita Monville Oro


International Institute of Rural Reconstruction

Institution Country


Institution Website