BOHOL, June 17, 2022 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program’s official visit continued in an oyster farm in Bohol, monitoring the project status of 45 fisherfolk who are being provided technical assistance despite budget support conclusion in 2021.
The Cambuhat Enterprise Development and Fisheries Association (CEDFA) with 35 members (35 SAAD, 66 all members), and Bato Aquamarine and Mangroves Development Association with 10 SAAD members, both Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-SAAD beneficiaries in Cambuhat, Buenavista, Bohol, were visited and granted with Php 131,800.00 worth of post-harvest.
BFAR-SAAD fisherfolks support in Buenavista Bohol
From 2019 to 2021, BFAR-SAAD has given a total of Php 2,879,239.70 projects to Buenavista.
Table 1. Projects implemented in Buenavista, Bohol
Read for BFAR-SAAD Background in Bohol: https://saad.da.gov.ph/2021/07/bfar-saad-allots-php-11m-for-fishery-projects-on-its-final-year-of-implementation-in-bohol
Cambuhat Featured story: https://saad.da.gov.ph/2021/02/the_world_is_my_oyster
In 2021, 35 out of 45 members of the CEDFA harvested a combined 9.786 metric tons of oysters through the SAAD project.
In December 2021, during the Typhoon Odette, one (1) unit of 40 square meter balsa (bamboo raft) submerged in the mangrove areas. While the typhoon brought massive destruction to vast agriculture and fisheries structures and lands in the province, the flash flood may have helped the fishers eradicate the hila-hila disease or infestation parasite that eats the oysters.
In the attempt to continue with their livelihood, the FA led the resumption of their oyster culture by doing minor repairs to the two rafts poles that survived the typhoon. In March 2022, the activity is up and running with the FA starting to put mollusk shells in the balsa, which will be harvested from September to October 2022 (seven to eight-month culture).
According to CEDFA President, Felipe Estorgio, oysters are harvested on an order basis where each bucket weighs 10 kilograms (kg), valued at Php 200.00, and are sold to locals. Fisherfolks can sell an average of 2-3 pails per transaction while also offering viand from their harvests.
BFAR-SAAD post-harvest support turn-over
SAAD National Program Director Myer G. Mula spearheaded the turn-over ceremony of the FY 2021 Post Harvest and Value Added Oyster Processing Materials to the CEDFA in support of the value-adding activities and oyster processing of said association, the program’s last installment of support.
CEDFA forms an internal agreement with the Bato Aquamarine and Mangrove Development Association (with 10 SAAD member-beneficiaries) to share the post-harvest and oyster processing equipment.
Dir. Mula lauded the fisherfolk for their continued efforts despite adversities from the pandemic and the typhoon. “Sustainability depends on the way you market the harvests and manage the interventions you receive, your association has the potential for expansion. If this is managed, your income is assured,” he shared.
The director also visualizes fisherfolk’s integration into gardening and other agricultural engagements, to address food insufficiency in the community.
In response, Buenavista Municipal Mayor expressed gratitude to the program for providing support to the CEDFA and Bato Aquamarine and Mangrove Development Association. “I thank SAAD for extending their help to our fisherfolks here. Sana hindi matapos ang SAAD, ug unta pangaon ninyo ang mga nadawat nga gamit ug intervention para mo lambo ug isipon nga matag maharvest, bunga kini sa paningkamot nato,” Mayor Duallo shared during the turn-over.
(I thank SAAD for extending their help to our fisherfolks here. I am hoping for the continuity of the program, and that you will take good care of the interventions and materials you received. May you prosper and acknowledge them as the fruit of your hardships).
As of writing, they are in the 3rd cycle in oyster farming and are striving to push for sustainability and expansion as an association.
The post-harvest and value-added materials for the oyster project have a total budget worth Php 121,400.00 to aid CEDFA in managing and encouraging value-adding activities. The livelihood provision includes the following interventions below.
Table 2. List of Interventions turned over to CEDFA
APCO-Bohol, Aurea Madrio, encourages CEDFA’s steady production to be considered for linkage and partnership with the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division of the Department of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, the DA regional arm will connect with the Municipal Agriculturist, Lino Divinagracia, and the local government unit to support fisherfolk who cultivate crops in their area and introduce them to other support programs.
Looking forward, CEDFA members are set for training on oyster processing and value-adding in July 2022. ###
Writer: Jolina Daño, SAAD Region 7 Information Officer