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BFAR-SAAD uplift lives of 35 bangus producers in Bohol

Dako kaayo ang tabang nga nahatag sa SAAD sa among organisayon, sa among matag pamilya, ug sa matag adlaw nga panginabuhi,” said Gultiano Gonzalo who now leads the Badiang Fishermen’s Association (BFA).

(The project brought a huge impact to our organization, to the members’ households, and to our daily living.)

Named after its barangay, BFA is one of beneficiaries of the Special Area Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program in Bohol – implemented by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 7. The group is composed of 35 small-scale low income fishers.

“Sauna sa wala pa mi fish cage, lisod ang among panginabuhi. Apan karon nga duna nay fish cage, gi arang-arang na ang among kahimtang. Makaingon ko nga niusbaw ang among panginabuhi,” Gultiano recalled that life was never easy for fishers who engage in artisanal fishing.

(Before, when we still did not have this fish cage, we were struggling on our livelihood. Now that we have this fish cage, our living conditions have been better. I can really say that our livelihood has improved.)

They became recipients of the Php 220,000-worth Milkfish (bangus) Marine Floating Fish Cage Project from the FY 2019 SAAD budget. The project includes 103 bags of feeds and 5,500 bangus fingerlings.

The 7 meters (m) x 7m x 3m floating cage which has a stocking density of 30 to 40 pieces of bangus per cubic meter (m³) was established offshore in the sea waters off Sitio Big-ot, Badiang.

On March 1, BFA received materials such as bamboo poles, nets, and nylon to build another floating fish cage with a cost of Php 200,000 from the FY 2020 SAAD budget. They were also supplied with 4,500 bangus fingerlings to be stocked inside the new fish cage.

Bangus is the primary commodity identified for the project since it has a high market demand in the town.

Results and Plans

The Bohol Provincial Fishery Office (PFO) assisted the association from the preparation to the realization of the project. This includes the orientation and training of the farmers for the construction of the fish cage, the safe transportation of the fingerlings, and the monitoring of the project.

Gonzalo and the association members were grateful to the livelihood assistance given, especially in the support to make sure that the project will thrive and grow as an enterprise.

From the FY 2019 interventions, BFA earned Php 146,580 from their 1,221.5 kilograms (kg) harvest in August 2020.

For the FY 2020 interventions, the association is expected to harvest an estimated 900kg bangus (marketable size) in September. They  project to earn Php 108,000 if the bangus is sold at Php 120/kg.

Currently, the association is planning to acquire a motorized boat to be used for the next harvest and for regular monitoring at the offshore floating fish cage. The members are also eyeing the reconstruction of a portion of the fish cage that needs repair.

Based on recent discussions with the association, they will be included in the recipients of the fiberglass reinforced plastic boat from the SAAD’s budget in FY 2021.

Through the SAAD program, BFAR will continue to assist BFA and other fishers from the marginalized areas in covered provinces, empowering them through agricultural and fishery livelihood to alleviate the living conditions of poor Filipino families. ###

Writer: May Miasco- Cabucos, Information Officer- BFAR SAAD Region 7

Copy-editor: Natalianne Marie Delos Reyes, PR and Comms Officer- SAAD NPMO

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