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Freshwater Catfish to Boost Farmers' Income

PHILIPPINES - Farmers in Lanao del Norte are encouraged to raise pangasius catfish.

In a business forum held recently at the Macapagal Training Center sponsored by the Provincial Agriculturist's Office, in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry Region 10 (DTI-X) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 10 (BFAR-X), farmers are encouraged to raise Pangasius hypophthalmus freshwater catfish because of its potential to boost farmers" income.

"Raising this type of freshwater catfish in fishponds will indeed increase the farmers income aside from preserving the environment," said Hon. Casimero C. Bagol, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member, Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, addressing the fishpond operators, agricultural technologists, municipal agricultural officers, municipal and agricultural fishery councils and other stakeholders present in the forum.

Dr Ruel Paclipan, Provincial Director of DTI-Lanao del Norte, assured the participants that his office will undertake steps for possible market matching for business opportunities including abroad.

The resource speaker, Dr Gregorio M. Domingo, averred that pangasius has market potentials next to tuna in terms of exporting.

This freshwater catfish belongs to the omnivorous species that feed primarily on marine plants and some mollusks. It is first seen in Vietnam"s Mekong River Delta and normally grows in waters with low oxygen levels and is tolerant even to poor water quality.

In about six to seven months, each catfish may weigh one kilogram.

The pangasius has an excellent meat suitable for fish fillet processing.

The cities of Davao and General Santos had already established its production and processing, and are currently introducing the processed fish fillet from this type of catfish in Mindanao and Visayas, (PIO Lanao del Norte)

the Fish Site Editor

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