CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION, April 28, 2023 – A total of 138,000 fingerlings under the Tilapia Culture in Pond Project of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Special Area for Agricultural Development (BFAR-SAAD) Program Phase 2 was distributed to six (6) fisherfolk groups in Ifugao and Benguet provinces, allowing fisherfolk to officially start their journey towards aqua-preneurship.
These inputs, alongside fish feeds, were the identified fishery projects in said provinces due to the inputs adaptability to the environment following the Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA) conducted by the implementers. Distribution happened from April 3 to 5, received by the officers and members of the Fisherfolk Associations (FAs) from the municipalities of Asipulo in Ifugao, and Salban and Tublay in Benguet.
Before the distribution, beneficiaries’ aquaculture and financial literacy through the Fish N Learn module were enhanced through basic tilapia farming and management training. Topics discussed include pond preparation, stocking, feeding, water management, and pond care and maintenance.
Sixty-two (62) members of the Cawayan Fisherfolk Association (CFA) will benefit from 46 units of the tilapia pond culture project. Each unit comprises 1,000 fingerlings in a 200-square meter (sqm) area with a stocking density of 5 pieces per sqm. Ponds are existing areas for fishers.
CFA underwent tilapia culture training last March 14-15. Read a related story here: http://bitly.ws/DnXM.
In a flag-raising ceremony on April 3, BFAR-CAR Regional Director Lilibeth L. Signey, together with Asipulo Mayor Archie Lee A. Quindo and Vice Mayor Clarence P. Bahingawan led the turnover and Memorandum of Agreement signing held at the municipal gymnasium.
“We want more projects like these so we can help our constituents. The LGU is one with the bureau in aiming success for our local fisherfolk and their projects,” said Mayor Quindo.
Director Signey likewise said, “The bureau supports fisheries endeavors that are potentially viable for aquaculture expansion through the SAAD Program Phase 2 with a six-year implementation term.”
According to CFA Manager, Basilia C. Macasa said, “10% of our production income will be given to the association which will be used for our monitoring activities during the project implementation. While another 10% will be allocated as the share capital of each member, with approval from the general assembly.”
Forty-six (46) members of the Iwang Farmers and Fisherfolk Organization in Poblacion and Naluwa Farmers and Fisherfolk Association in Cababuyan accepted 46,000 fingerlings and 460 bags of assorted feeds for their 4,600sqm consolidated pond area.
Harvests are expected after four to six (4-6) months of the culture period.
The municipalities of Asipulo and Hingyon in Ifugao are the pilot areas of the 38 towns in the Cordillera region that will be covered by SAAD Phase 2 based on the top-third income classification.
Three (3) newly formed fisherfolk associations in the municipalities of Sablan and Tublay, Benguet were provided various aquaculture livelihood inputs on April 4 at the Benguet Provincial Fisheries Office.
Ambongdolan Fisherfolk Association (AFA) and Fisherfolk Organization of Daclan (FOOD) in Tublay accepted 23,000 tilapia fingerlings and 115 bags of fish feeds good for their 4,600sqm consolidated pond area.
The Fisherfolk of Sablan Highlands (FISH) with members from the barangays of Banengneng, Banangan, and Bayabas received 23,000 fingerlings and 115 bags of feeds for their 4,600sqm consolidated pond area.
Said FAs will receive the same inputs for two years and additional harvest nets, crates, and weighing scales.
“People are the greatest asset of the community. This project can help beneficiaries both in the financial and physical aspects. These coming together can make one an effective community member,” shared Lois June B. Fermin, Chief Aquaculturist, during the turnover ceremony.
In an interview, Mr. Florante K. Magno, President of FOOD, expressed his gratitude for the Bureau’s program, “This is another means of livelihood to those with and without work in our place. We aim to expand our association and be an enterprise if we can. We aim to produce our tilapia and avoid resorting to exports.”
AFA and FOOD both have 18 members, while FISH has 26 fisherfolk.
Additional fish feeds will be provided to fisherfolk groups by June to complete the inputs for the first cropping period. Assigned area coordinators will do close monitoring to guide the associations with proper feeding management to meet higher produce.
BFAR-SAAD CAR targets to support a total of 43-80 fisherfolk groups for the entire Phase 2 duration providing fish production inputs until capacity and practices of groups become sustainable. Depending on the progress, the Program will shift its focus on reinforcing enterprise and marketing development around the third year of assistance for the associations. ###
Writer: Jennifer Valcobero, DA-SAAD NPMO PRDC Staff
Source: Michelle Peralta, BFAR-SAAD CAR Alternate Focal Person
Photos from: BFAR-SAAD CAR