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SEAFDEC to set up freshwater fish caging demo farm

THE PHILIPPINES - About 36 farmers will benefit from a freshwater fish caging demonstration farm that will be set up by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC) at Barangay Tumalalud in Dumarao town.

"The project will provide an alternative livelihood to the farmers that have been affected by a back flow of an irrigation dam," said Engineer Julieta Gallardo, NIA - Capiz Public Information Officer.

The demo farm will cultivate tilapia, bangus, shrimp and big head carp.

For her part, Provincial Agriculturist Sylvia dela Cruz said that the fish caging project is part of the province's fisheries development program as included in its three-year development agenda.

Recently, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced that the fisheries sub-sector emerged anew as the year's chief growth driver for the farm sector contributing to the sustained increase in the country's agriculture in the first two quarters of 2007.

The value of farm production rose 5.19 per cent from P443.6 billion in the first half of 2006 to P466.7 billion for the same period this year.

He said that fisheries topped the list of gainers, with commercial fisheries growing an impressive 10.8% during the first quarter of 2007 period. Municipal fisheries registered a 6.92 per cent growth, while aquaculture posted an output increase of 5.77 per cent, he added.

At current prices, the fishery sub-sectors generated P9.18 billion worth of gross output, up by 12.26 per cent from last year's record.