To sustain the tilapia fish farms in the countryside, the Cebu Provincial Government trained farmers to become Tilapia breeders.
The training was conducted with the help of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7 upon the request of Governor Hilario P. Davide III.
“It’s the governor himself who wrote a letter to BFAR 7 to provide the training,” Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO) Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Dr. Roldan Saragena.
The farmers were trained on tilapia hatchery and nursery management at the communal ponds in the north and south of the province.
He said the program is necessary so that the farmers would know how to produce their own fingerlings instead of relying on the supplies from the government agency.
The Capitol’s Tilapia Farm program was established several years ago and continued by the previous administration until today. BFAR supplied the fingerlings for free while the province provides Tilapia feeds.
Now that many farms have been established in the province, however, the agency can no longer supply all these farms.
In addition, the agency sourced out the fingerlings from Bohol. And considering the distance, Saragena said it has high mortality rate compared to those from the province.
Currently, there are 16 local governments units that have communal ponds for tilapia. These were managed by farmers associations.
These farms are located in Danao City, Ronda, Sogod, Catmon, Asturias, Balamban, Minglanilla, Talisay City, San Fernando, Sibonga, Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal, Badian, and Oslob.
There are also farmers that have established backyard tilapia farms. These are located in Talisay City, Balamban and Minglanilla.
Josephine Lane Tabuñac, Aquaculturist II of PAO, said the province provides one set of Tilapia feeds in one cropping-from the laying of fingerlings into the pond until harvest time.
The province also takes responsibility to provide fingerlings to the communal ponds while feeds only for backyard farms.
With the support of the governor, Tabuñac said they are assured that the tilapia farms in the province will be sustained. She said the program is beneficial both for the government and the farmers.
Aside from creating ways for farmers to eat fresh fish, this is also an intervention to avoid the further depletion of marine products, she added.
Davide underscored food security and agriculture as one of his topmost agenda of governance.
He also pronounced that he will never scrap the programs of the past administration that are valuable to the Cebuanos.