OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, August 11, 2021 – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Special Area for Agricultural Development (BFAR-SAAD) Program in MIMAROPA turned over 33,000 pieces (pc) of tilapia fingerlings under the Fish Cage Tilapia Culture of FY 2021 Project to a fisherfolk association in Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro.
The Samahan ng Mangingisda ng Lanas Lake Farmers Association (SMLLFA), an existing fisherfolk association since 2002, has 31 members who received the second cycle of aquaculture production on July 21, 2021. Other inputs granted were 50 kilograms (kg) of fry mash, 125kg starter, 325kg grower, and 250kg finisher feeds worth Php 39,000.
The materials for their existing 10×10-meter fish cage for tilapia culture were turned over to the group in 2020, which the fishers then constructed by themselves with the guidance of BFAR Region 4B technicians.
Apart from the construction materials, BFAR SAAD provided start-up inputs consisting of 20,000pc tilapia fingerlings as well as 375kg starter feeds, 500kg grower feeds and 750kg finisher feeds for the first production cycle. It yielded 1,275kg of tilapia sold at local markets in Sta. Cruz earning Php 140,250 in total.
A Php 3,000 cash assistance from the said earnings was given to 9 members who are engaged to capture fishing for the replacement of their worn-out nets. The rest of the earnings were saved for the association’s communal expenses.
The provincial fisheries arm of the bureau headed by its Regional Director, Mr. Elizer S. Salilig, MFT, with Mr. Edgardo S. Payas, from Occidental Mindoro Provincial Fishery Office, ensures continued support to the fishers despite insufficient budget allocation.
Meanwhile, the BFAR SAAD team, headed by its Regional Focal Person, Ms. Julie Ann F. Gabinete with Mr. Patrick Jun U. Lorque (SAAD Regional Staff), Mr. Ruperto N. Alforque (SAAD Regional Staff), and Mr. Archie Rufon (SAAD Provincial Staff), assures that the FAs will continue to receive technical assistance and free tilapia fry from the BFAR hatchery for the continuity of the project initiated for the associations.
The distribution of the tilapia fingerlings is chosen as an intervention due to its adaptability to their environment and its high survival rate which allows beneficiaries to harvest without thorough maintenance.
A tilapia reaches marketable size within three to four months and is already very popular among other aquaculture commodities, it is typically cultured in fishponds or hapa nets. The organization looks forward to adding another fish cage for expansion. ###
Jessica Marie Cordova, BFAR-SAAD Region 4B Information Officer
Jessamae Gabon, DA-SAAD NPMO Information Officer
Julie Ann F. Gabinete, BFAR-MIMAROPA SAAD Regional Focal