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Developing The Pangasius Market

PHILIPPINES - Pangasius, a species of catfishes of the order of Siluriformes and of the family Pangasiidae, is fast emerging as the new toast of the aquaculture industry.

The quality of pangasius is comparable to the higher-priced salmon. Its meat is now a common menu in fine restaurants and fast food chains. Growing and processing pangasius can be a very profitable project since it grows fast and is easier to raise than tilapia, and has a wide potential market domestically and in the export market, reports the Philippine Information Agency.

Thus, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is prioritising the development of the pangasius catfish production industry as a viable livelihood and lucrative business that can attract more investments and create more jobs in Laguna.

As a first step, the DTI led a 20-man delegation to Vietnam for a four-day benchmarking on the country’s pangasius industry in July last year.

DTI Calabarzon Regional Diector Marilou Quinco-Toledo, representing seven of the regions all over the country headed the delegation along with players in the local pangasius industry, executives of local governments and the academe in visiting farm and processing facilities for pangasius in Can Tho and Ho Chi Min cities. They observed, interacted and learned more from the Vietnamese aquaculture and processing companies.

The benchmarking mission was in line with the thrust to develop the pangasius industry in the Philippines. It aimed to increase knowledge on the pangasius industry and its value-chain by observing and learning from the best practices of companies and researches of universities and replicate the learning gained by the team to the local pangasius industry.

On December 13, 2010, the DTI in coordination with the provincial government of Laguna, the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources launched pangasius at the cultural center of Laguna, provincial Capitol in Sta. Cruz.

The launch, featured exhibits of Laguna pangasius industry players, processed pangasius products such as hotdogs, longanisa, breaded fingers, cooking demonstrations and free food tasting on various pangasius menu and market launch at the Sta. Cruz public market.

DTI provincial director Susan R. Palo said the launching aimed to create awareness on the prospects on pangasius as an important freshwater and fastest growing fish group with very strong and increasing market demand from importing countries like the USA, Europe, China and Russia with its fillet meat popular among high-end restaurants.

The DTI advocates the consumption of the whole and value-added pangasius fish as well as promote investments that will sustain the industry in the long term.

the Fish Site Editor

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