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More aggressive development initiatives from BFAR-SAAD 10 for NorMin fishing communities

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, February 21, 2023 – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Special Area for Agricultural Development (BFAR-SAAD) Program implementers from five (5) provinces in Northern Mindanao convened for a special meeting under its new administration to plot for a more aggressive approach in fisherfolk community development for the Phase 2 implementation.

Spearheaded by new full-fledged Regional Director Edward Yasay, the 31 regional and provincial program staff conceptualized and deliberately discussed ideas on how to reinforce their strategies for the next phase of project execution.

During the conference, the participants also narrowed down learnings, issues, and concerns in Phase 1 and created an action plan for the formation of fishers’ cooperatives. Projects implemented in Phase 1 include the cultivation of tilapia, bangus, and seaweed, shellfish gardening, and the provision of fishing boats and gears (fishing paraphernalia and postharvest supplies).

Director Yasay, BFAR-SAAD Focal Person, led the discussion of critical points aimed to organize and refine the execution of mechanics and components. Prioritizing a more efficient flow of service, the SAAD staff identified the need to train for the beneficiary needs assessment (BNA) execution – as an introductory Social Preparation component activity for the target fishers.

Lanao del Norte’s Provincial Fishery Officer (PFO), Noel Saldajeno, strongly suggested that the implementers should enhance their communication, community organization, and cooperative formation on top of technical skills in aquaculture and capture fisheries.

BFAR 10 aims to empower and capacitate its fisherfolk beneficiaries in aquaculture farming, especially those residing in upland areas. It also targets to encourage farmers focusing on producing crops to engage in tilapia culture in ponds. It was seen that this insight can contribute to the increase of fisheries production in upland and landlocked areas of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, and Misamis Occidental whose sectors have potential farmland for fishpond preparation.

According to BFAR-SAAD Alternate Assistant Focal Person Ibrahim Sanggoyod,It is understood that in these areas, ang mga farmers are mostly nakafocus lang sa pag-farm ng agri-crops kaya napapag-iwanan ang fisheries in terms of production” (…farmers are mostly focused on farming agricultural crops, which is why the production of fisheries has lagged).

“All I wanted to ask you [SAAD Program implementers] is your cooperation for this phase to succeed. We should work as one to attain our goals in fulfilling the government’s mandate to the fisherfolk – to increase fish production and provide food on every table,” Dir. Yasay appealed.

The meeting pushed through the discussions of the program’s physical and financial targets with specific appropriate interventions that were agreed upon during the group’s previous meeting dated August 18, 2022. Projects rolled-out for Phase 2 include social preparation activities, freshwater and marine aquaculture projects, distribution of fishing boats and gears, postharvest projects, specialized training, and marketing assistance to fishers in the region.

With the new phase’s coverage, the Bureau targets to assist a total of 41 fisherfolk groups with around 1,000 members living below the poverty threshold in 40 selected municipalities in Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, and Camiguin, where profiling activity is on-going. ###

Ibrahim Sanggoyod, BFAR-SAAD 10 Alternate Assistant Focal Person
Christine Viajante, BFAR 10 Information Unit Staff

Photos from: BFAR 10 FB Page

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Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Online ISSN: 2718-9791
Published by the SAAD National Program Management Office Editorial Board

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