November 17, 2003

 

 

Philippines To Grant Monetary Incentives To Push Its Growing Tilapia Industry

 

The Philippines' government will study the possibility of granting fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to the tilapia growing industry to enable the country to become a major exporter of the fish produce.


This was announced last week by Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel Roxas II during the Second Tilapia Congress held in San Fernando, Pampanga.


Philippines is currently the world's fourth largest producer of tilapia, Roxas said.


With such a large production capacity, Roxas said the Philippines should be able to capture a major portion of the tilapia export market.


To be able to do so, he said there should be continuous improvement in the private sector's production efficiency and compliance with quality and environmental standards.


The government is studying ways to further develop the tilapia industry by providing support in terms of marketing, financing, production research and development and by extending fiscal as well as non-fiscal incentives, Roxas added.


"We have to take advantage of the increasing demand for tilapia in the national and international market," he said.


Roxas noted that the country has a low cost in the production of tilapia at about $0.80 per kilogram of tilapia.


Considered an "aquatic chicken", tilapia is one of the most important domesticated fish today.


It was introduced in the Philippines in the early 1950s as Tilapia Mossambica and by the 1970s, a hybrid form O. Niloticus or pla-pla was cultured in Laguna de Bay.


The third generation red tilapia was introduced in the country in the late 1980s.

 

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there were 85 tilapia-producing countries worldwide with the Philippines as the fourth largest producer at 92.284 metric tons per year.


Tilapia production in the country comprised 8.7% of aquaculture production in 2001, ranking third next to seaweeds and bangus.