Los Baños, Laguna—An initiative of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) is making tilapia farming accessible to beneficiaries in Laguna and Batangas.
A total of 14 farmer cooperators culturing tilapia in 17 fishponds with area of 2,798 sq m located in Laguna and Batangas benefited from the project, “Tilapia para sa Pamayanan” of the agency, Rose Anne M. Aya of PCAARRD Media Services told newsmen.
The project provided free fingerlings, feeds, and technical support to the farmer cooperators.
Started in June of this year, the project has benefited the following barangays in Laguna: Malinao, Taytay, and Munting Kawayan in the municipality of Majayjay; Pupuy in Bay; Mabacan in Calauan; and Malinta in Los Baños. In Batangas, the following barangays are covered: Bucana, Cogonan, Mangahan Putat, Bautista, and Butucan in the municipality of Nasugbu.
“The project will provide our family supply of food and additional income as we can sell our tilapia harvest to our neighbors in our barangay,” said Fe Amor Barcelon, a farmer cooperator from Cogonan, Nasugbu, Batangas, in Filipino.
According to Engr. Eduardo V. Manalili, Director of the Inland Aquatic Resources Research Division of PCAARRD, beneficiaries were selected based on two criteria: first, the area of the farmer should have a sustainable source of water and a dug-up land that can serve as a fishpond and second, the farmer should be willing to learn about tilapia culture and processing.
Prior to the actual conduct of tilapia farming, farmer cooperators were trained on developing and maintaining a fishpond; fertilizing the fishpond using organic or inorganic fertilizers; and harvesting. They were also provided information on what feeds should be given to the tilapia, postharvest technology, and record keeping.
Making tilapiang dinanggit, a tilapia processing method, was also taught to the farmer cooperators.
“Our overarching objective for this project is to provide our fellow Filipinos a source of livelihood that can sustain for many years,” said Manalili.
Since the fingerlings and feeds are given for free, James Jacobo, a farmer cooperator from Nasugbu, Batangas, said that this initiative is a huge help for them and other farmers selected for the project, Aya relayed.
“This initiative of the government and PCAARRD is a huge help for us. The only thing we need to do is to maintain the fishpond. In three to four months, we can harvest tilapia, which will benefit our family as well as my caretakers and our neighbors,” the beneficiary said in Filipino.