Tilapia production grows in Mountain Province

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 March 2007, at 12:00am

PHILIPPINES - A number of farmers in Mountain Province have switched to tilapia production after discovering that, with proper application of new technology, they can increase their income with lower labor costs and fewer farm inputs, reports the Sun Star

Arsenia Bolasco of the Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO) said 993 farmers provincewide are now engaging in tilapia production. Many of the farmers are from the town of Natonin.

An area of 17.4868 hectares, with Natonin having the biggest area of 5.4565 hectares, is being utilized for tilapia production composed of fishponds, fish tanks, ice-fish culture and rice-fish culture alternate wherein after harvesting the first crop on rice, fish production takes place.

The rice-fish culture alternate is being done in Barangays Bila, Banao and Guinzadan in the town Bauko. There is also a cage culture in Gawaan Lake being managed by the Gawaan Lakers Fisher folks Association of Bana-ao, Tadian, and raceway system or river rine fish production.

Seen as an alternative source of livelihood for the farmers to increase their income and to ensure food on the table, Bolasco said the Mountain Province Provincial Government allotted P544,000 since 2005 for the procurement of tilapia fingerlings which were distributed free to the fish farmers.

As of last month, there were already 1,054,685 fingerlings distributed to 993 fish farmers. A counterpart of the recipients is the provision of plastic bags for the fingerlings and fuel use to haul fingerlings from the fish hatcheries in Isabela.

Aside from the free fingerlings from the province, the Bureau of Fish and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) also provided 183,000 tilapia fingerlings, which were distributed free to the fish farmers in the province. It has also given 2,000 tilapia breeders, which were distributed to fish farmers in the municipalities of Sabangan, Sagada, Tadian, Bontoc and Paracelis.