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Kasibu Fish Farmer Sees More Income In Upland Fish Farming

Economics +1 more

PHILIPPINES - Another fishpond owner who ventured in upland fish farming has proven that fish can also be grown in ponds situated in mountain and hill slopes akin to rice terraces and this can bring more income to anyone.

Miguel Lugay, a full time farmer of Brgy. Kappit-Alloy in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya and one of the fish terraces techno-demo cooperators of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) RO2 said that he is very happy as his tilapia stocks reached an average of 6 pieces to a kilo, as seen during the harvest field day last August 11.

Mr Lugay added that he expects to harvest a total of 493 kilos from his two terraced ponds measuring 770 square meters, from which he had already harvested around 100 kilos since July.

The ponds were stocked with 3,700 pieces size 22 Improved GET EXCEL tilapia fingerlings last March. Expected income is Php 23,300.00 from expenses of Php 26,045.00.

"It's a good thing that my ponds did not dry up during the El Niño. However, we were not able to reach the target weight of 5 pieces due to the intense heat and lack of water replenishment for some time," Lugay said.

"Nonetheless, I am still thankful as I could not have harvested more than 5 cavans of palay in a similar amount of land space," the farmer happily relates.

According to Dominador Abalos, technical consultant of BFAR RO2, fish terraces ? as the projects are called, are essentially similar to low-land fishponds, only that these are primarily irrigated by mountain streams or falls ? much like rice terraces.

Abalos added that fish terraces are feasible in upland towns like Kayapa, Sta. Fe, Ambaguio, and other similar mountainous areas. Soil must have good water holding capacity such as clay or clay loam, with presence of stream or waterfalls as source of irrigation.

Last July, the BFAR RO2 also conducted a field day for a similar demo at Brgy. Palabotan, town of Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya. The cooperator in this demo, Ferdinand Raza, was able to harvest 320 kilograms from 400 square meter fish terrace.

Mr Abalos said that the dissemination of fish terraces technology is in line with the FishFUD or Fish for Upland Dwellers project, a directive from BFAR National Director Malcolm I. Sarmiento, Jr. aiming to increase the availability of fish at upland areas as residents in these areas have been found to be generally deficient of protein in their diet.