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New Catfish Industry May Come to the Philippines

PHILIPPINES - Step aside tilapia and bangus, here comes Pangasius hypopthalmus, also known as cream dory, a big catfish variety from Vietnam.

President Gloria M. Arroyo visited a pangasius-growing facility here last Thursday, in what locals took as a signal of support for massive commercial growing of the fish, reports BusinessWorld.

According to the report, she witnessed the signing of a memorandum of agreement for pangasius cultivation between a subsidiary of RD Group of Companies, a feed supplier, and fisherfolk from North Cotabato. Specifically, the agreement was inked by RDEX Food International Phils. Inc, Tateh Premium Feeds Corp. and the Midsayap Fisherfolks Producers’ Cooperative.

Pangasius is native to the Mekong River and exported by Vietnam to the United States, Russia and Asian markets like the Philippines, which imports about 500 metric tons monthly for supermarkets and restaurants, read a briefing paper from the regional Department of Trade and Industry.

Roger E. Rivera, senior vice-president and chief operating officer of RDEX Foods, said the company will buy the pangasius harvest from the Midsayap cooperative after seven months or when the desired one kilogram weight is reached, whichever comes first.

the Fish Site Editor

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