December 14, 2020
Philippine government gives US$10-million boost to aquaculture sector
The Department of Agriculture is allocating half a billion pesos (~US$10.4 million; 1 peso = US$0.021) to further develop the local aquaculture industry and contribute to food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic, The Philippine Star reported.
The stimulus package will fund the culture of specific aquatic species with good market potential such as glass eels, sea urchins, and seaweeds, and establish multi-species hatcheries across the country.
The funds are expected to raise aquaculture production by 9,600 tonnes and provide more livelihood opportunities for fisherfolks.
"Glass eels, sea urchins and more species of seaweeds are only some of our many locally-abundant fisheries commodities in the Philippines with culture technologies that we have yet to sustainably develop," Eduardo Gongona, The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) director says.
Aquaculture production recorded 480,670 tonnes, down 2.7% in the third quarter of the year.
Culture technology of glass eel will be introduced through demonstration projects, while fingerlings will be distributed to selected regional production areas such as the Cagayan Valley and North Cotabato in order to maximise production capacity.
Sea urchin production will be promoted in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Caraga, Bicol and Zamboanga with fisherfolk to take up grow-out and cage culture technology. Equipment and infrastructures such as sea urchin hatcheries, improved nursery tanks and processing areas will also be established.
For seaweeds, BFAR will establish more hatcheries, nurseries, seaweed solar dryers, farmhouses and technology demonstration projects, rehabilitation of land-based nursery facilities or laboratories, and provision of seedlings and farm implements.