LANAO DEL NORTE, June 5, 2021 – In simultaneous fish harvests in April and May, four fisherfolk cooperatives in Lala, Tubod, Kulambogan, and Baroy earned Php 3,032,480 after selling 22.77 tons of bangus from the FY 2020 Milkfish in Pen Project of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program.
The cooperatives’ synchronous fingerlings stocking was in December 2020.
The 62 members of Baroy Stakeholders and Fishermen Cooperative (BASFICO) stocked the 20,000 bangus fingerlings and harvested it after five months of the culture period. They sold 8 tons of fish at Php 130-135/kilogram (kg) giving them a gross income of Php 1,053,000.
Similarly, the Lala Fishermen’s Cooperative (LAFICO), with 63 members, gathered 6,640kg (6.64 tons) which they sold at Php 145-150/kg returning them Php 976,080 gross earnings.
Before, LAFICO was just an association called United Fisherfolk Association of Lala (UFAL) organized through the Community Fish Landing Center (CFLC) Project of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). When the SAAD Program was introduced to them, they became a cooperative.
On the other hand, 67 members of Tangueguiron Seaweed Grower and Fishermen Cooperative (TAGESFICO) earned Php 323,400 from selling 2,365kg (2.37 tons) of bangus at Php 135-140/kg. The cooperative stocked 10,000 fingerlings as the capacity of its one-unit fishpen.
Meanwhile, the 207 members of Simbuco Aqua Marine Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SAMMPC) gathered 5,760kg (5.76 tons) bangus and sold them at Php 115-120/kg. This gave them a remuneration of Php 680,000.
“Wala kaayo naapektohan ang kooperatiba sa pandemic tungod sa SAAD project. Pagsulod sa CoViD sa Pilipinas, nag lockdown man pud mi diri, pero mura mig wala ga lockdown kay busy kaayo mi sa among SAAD Project. Gitukod ang among fish pen, naglockdown diri dapita, pero nakakuha mi og mga permit, nakakuha mig mga travel pass kay naa man mi kaugalingon nga truck. Ang mga materyales gipalit namo sa Cagayan, naglahos lahos lang mi. Mura mig walay pandemic diri tungod sa SAAD,” shared Teodolo Bueno, Jr., the Chairman of LAFICO.
(Our cooperative is not affected by the pandemic because of the SAAD project. When CoViD-19 infiltrated the Philippines, this place was on lockdown but it seems like we are not because we got too busy with our SAAD project like installing our fish pens. We got permits from the LGU and we even have our travel pass since we got our own truck. We travel to and fro Cagayan to buy the materials for our fish pen.)
The fisherfolk groups sold their fish within their community and outside the province like Iligan and Pagadian City.
“We acknowledged the responsiveness, efforts, and dedication of our project partners in the implementation of our SAAD program in Lanao del Norte which led to the successful production of more than 20 tons of milkfish with income generated of more than 2 million. Despite the pandemic, they continue to strive and exert efforts to contribute to the food security of the region and generate income. BFAR will continue to provide technical assistance, training, and livelihood inputs to achieve our goal which is to increase food production and reduce poverty of our fisherfolk in Lanao del Norte,” said Al Jun Barbon Magamano, the Provincial Focal Person.
“Truly, the SAAD program is promising. It does not just give hope to the fisherfolk but it is the hope that we have been looking and longing for quite a long time. We have been looking forward to fulfilling the promise because we know that the Philippine Government is a promise keeper. And then, it is also the privilege of our fisherfolk that is the best time for them to feel the promise fulfilled,” said Mr. Noel Saldajeno, the Provincial Fishery Officer in Lanao Del Norte. ***
The SAAD provincial management office looks forward to introducing zero postharvest loss. Just like tilapia – Instead of throwing away the small ones, beneficiaries will process them into tilapia crunch or tilanggit (dried tilapia).
Further, only the marketable size will go to the market and the small fish will be processed into value-added products.
The cooperatives expect to earn again by August or September after the four to five months’ culture period of bangus which they stocked in the first week of June. ###
***This statement was taken during the SAAD national office’s field monitoring activity in April 2021. LAFICO and SAMMPC success stories will be featured in the SAADventures magazine Volume 3.
Writer: Jennifer A. Valcobero, SAAD National Public Relation and Comms Officer
Source: Al Jun Barbon Magamano, LDN Focal Person