LANAO DEL NORTE, July 12, 2021 – The Pandanan Fisherfolk Association from Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte earned Php 162,000 from selling 2,103 kilograms (kg) tilapia on July 7 under the Tilapia Culture in Freshwater Fish Cage Project.
The said project is established in the 16 hectares (ha) catch basin, which is part of the 115ha Small Water Impounding Project (SWIP) of Lanao Del Norte, also considered as the biggest in Region 10.
The group with 26 members is a beneficiary of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program’s FY 2020, provided by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 10.
In February, 10,000 fingerlings were stocked in the group’s 1-unit fish cage. After five months of culture period, 7,580 pieces (75%) were harvested and sold at a price range of Php 80-120/kg.
“Who would have thought that the project under the Department of Agriculture (DA) 10 in Barangay Pandanan, Sultan Naga Dimaporo (SND), Lanao del Norte would be a multi-purpose project that will contribute to the goal of the DA for food sufficiency and poverty alleviation,” said Provincial Fishery Officer (PFO) Noel Saldajeno, acknowledging the transformation brought by the SWIP Project in LDN.
Saldajeno stated that, “Hitting two birds with one stone is a cliché that has been used to a single action that has successfully achieved two things. This is a challenge to the implementing agency to maximize the resources. The efficient utilization of Small Water Impounding Project (SWIP) in Barangay Pandanan is the key to profitability and sustainability because of the SAAD projects.”
“It is simple: that every endeavor to maximize the profitable utilization of the SWIP’s resources, the biggest investment for the local community. The SWIP is a multi-purpose reservoir: from water impoundment, irrigation system and diversion dam to rice and fish production,” Saldajeno ended.
Just like any programs, the province also encountered problems during its implementation. According to Provincial SAAD Focal Person Al Jun Magamano, there is a need to improve the survival rate of tilapia in fish cages. He suggested stocking the tilapia fingerlings in fish ponds before transferring them to fish cages.
To reduce the postharvest losses, the province promotes the value-adding technology of tilapia like tilanggit (dried tilapia), lamayo (half-dried marinated tilapia), and tilamai (tilapia siomai).
Mr. Estarlito Tura, the President of Pandanan Fisherfolk Association and at the same time the Barangay Chairman of Pandanan, expressed his gratitude to BFAR 10 and PFO for considering them as beneficiaries in the SAAD Program.
During the harvest, he also said they are excited preparing for the next production cycle. They are longing for additional tilapia cages and other freshwater fish species in Pandanan SWIP.
With the vast area for fish production, the single unit fish cage hopefully will be multiplied to serve the purpose of providing fish sufficiency and alleviating poverty in Sultan Naga Dimaporo.
Noel Saldajeno, Provincial Fishery Officer Lanao Del Norte
Al Jun Barbon Magamano, SAAD Lanao Del Norte Focal Person
Jennifer A. Valcobero, SAAD NPMO Public Relation and Comms Officer