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Call for Organic Acquaculture Production

by Ellen Hardy
31 March 2008, at 1:00am

PHILIPPINES - Delegates at an Expert Forum on Organic Aquaculture advocated that tilapia, shrimps, milkfish and other aquaculture products in Negros Occidental will reach maximum growth if produced under environmental-friendly conditions with no pesticides and toxins, a press release from the forum organizers said.

An Expert Forum on Organic Aquaculture is proposing that tilapia, shrimps, milkfish and other aquaculture products in Negros Occidental will benefit from organic production methods.

According to reports in the Visayan Daily Star, the forum is calling for production under environmental-friendly conditions with no pesticides and toxins.

Participants discussed the difference between the conventional aquaculture and organic aquaculture, the latter employing an overall farm management system and food production that focuses on best environmental practices, the Daily Star says.

A statement released by the forum organisers says that organic aquaculture also has a high level of biodiversity and contributes to the preservation of natural resources, the press release said.

The delegates agreed that organically produced goods must be given a certification of quality standard which guarantees stable export prices and job security for local farmers.

The delegates at the forum said that conventional aquaculture forced to compete its products by quantity to local markets has to use fertilisers and pesticides containing toxins and non-biodegradable matters as well as supplemental feeds containing ingredients from genetically modified organisms to maximize product’s growth.

In a survey covering the period October 2007 until February 2008 conducted by OPA in collaboration with the German Development Service, pond managers and operators interviewed said most of their goods are still locally marketed with prawn farmers exporting their products mainly to the US and Japan, the press statement said.

Survey result showed 24 per cent of the farms can actually start the certification process by tapping links with foreign agencies.

The forum, held at the Governor’s Hall at the Capitol Building, was participated by representatives from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Aquaculture Department, the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Foundation and German consultant experts from the Society for Technical Cooperation and the German Development Service.

Ellen Hardy