BUKIDNON, March 30, 2023 – Kickstarting implementation with a strong inter-agency grip on the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Special Area for Agricultural Development (BFAR-SAAD) Program’s goals for the development of local fisheries production, fisheries counterpart of SAAD solicited full support from the local government units for complementary actions in the operation of the program.
Building effective collaborative relationships with the SAAD Program’s stakeholders for the Phase 2 implementation, BFAR 10 organized a kickoff meeting with 33 regional and provincial program implementers and local government units (LGUs) representatives to go over the Program’s plan and objectives, review proposed time frames, clarify roles and responsibilities, and encourage participants to point out improvements that could be made.
In response, 40 LGUs from Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, and Camiguin pledged their full support and any assistance they can extend for the benefit of roughly around 820 fisherfolk and constituents. This goal is also aligned with the nationwide call of achieving a 10% overall increase in fish production through the provision of different development projects for the fisheries sector, in adherence to the administration’s 8-point economic agenda.
During SAAD Phase 1, 22 municipalities in Bukidnon declared by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 2015 with the highest poverty incidence rate were assisted by the Bureau with both aquaculture and inland municipal fishery projects. For three (3) years, 25 FAs with 640 members were granted tilapia culture cultivated in two methods: Aquaculture Community-Based Participatory Action Research (AquaCPAR) Technology and Tilapia Culture in Pond (TCiP).
Marking its Phase 1 success, the PICKISM Tilapia Grower’s Association emerged with a total association income of Php 1,058,610. This group has been engaged in tilapia culture in a pond since 2018, and later on, expanded to fish processing such as tilanggit and tilapia ice cream.
For Phase 2, Bukidnon is among the five (5) provinces in Northern Mindanao to be covered by the Program for FY 2023-2028. Fourteen (14) areas of the said province belonging to the top third poorest municipalities based on the PSA 2018 poverty incidence data will be covered.
Targeted to receive fishery projects that are suited to their communities are 14 groups with 20 members each belonging to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA). Some of the FA members from Malitbog, Talakag, Impasugong, and Kitaotao are part of the Talaandig, Higa-onon, Bukidnon, Umayamnon, Matigsalug, Manobo, and Tigwahanon ethnic groups.
Tilapia Grow-out Production is one of the projects intended for the FAs since most members already have existing backyard fishponds but lack the capital to buy fingerlings and feed inputs to support their fishing venture. This is also best for their tropical climate.
BFAR-SAAD Bukidnon Alternate Focal Person Alfonsus Gonzaga stressed during the conference that “through strong coordination and partnership with the LGUs and cooperative partner-beneficiaries, it will lead to the attainment of more successful Phase 2 program operation.”
After the said ceremonial marking of Phase 2 implementation, the Bukidnon team is set to simultaneously conduct its Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA), profiling, geotagging, group values and by-laws formation, and a series of technical training on tilapia culture in pond and marketing. These activities are lined up for the municipalities of Baungon, Talakag, Malitbog, Sumilao, Lantapan, Impasugong, San Fernando, Cabanglasan, Damulog, Kibawe, Kadingilan, Quezon, Kitaotao, and Pangantucan. Distribution of fishery inputs will start from June up to the third quarter of 2023. ###
Writer: Jennifer Valcobero, DA-SAAD NPMO PRDC Staff
Alfonsus Gonzaga, BFAR-SAAD Bukidnon Alternate Focal Person