Dedito Rica of Barangay Can-ibuang, municipality of Catmon, was engaged in different ventures until he hit a jackpot just around his backyard.
He said he has been in different jobs, including running his own retail store in the town of Sibonga in the south.
Then in 2014, his brother in the Cebu Provincial Government informed him of the government’s inland fishery program.
“Giingnan ko niya nga duol sa pinakaduol nga office of agriculture diha (He told to me to go to the nearest agriculture office here),”said Rica who then underwent training in tilapia farming in the neighboring town of Carmen.
After the training and assistance from the Capitol and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Dedito, 54, was able to establish his own tilapia pond in April 2014.
In its first year of harvest, Rica earned P96,000 from 800 kilos of tilapia from his three fishponds that have a total area of 300 square meters. .
Aside from selling fresh Tilapia, Rica also sells tocino-flavored, hot and spicy, as well as regular dried Tilapia.
Rica never knew his penchant for making dried fish could earn him additional income.
He said their relatives abroad have tasted his dried tilapia during their vacation in Cebu. And when they went back abroad they brought some of it and offered it to their neighborhood and friends.
Since then, Rica said he has been receiving orders. For those interested buyers, they may contact Catmon Inland Fishery Technician Marybeth Nacional of the municipal agriculture office (MAO).
A father of three children, Rica said the tilapia pond is a big help to augment the income of his family.
Aside from maintaining his own pond, Rica also produces tilapia fries for fellow tilapia fish farmers or for those who wanted to establish backyard ponds.
There are around 50 individuals in Catmon who established backyard tilapia pond and 16 associations that operate communal ponds.
In behalf of the local government of Catmon, Nacional thanked the assistance from the Capitol that developed and sustained the tilipia farming in the town.
The Capitol does not only provide trainings, inputs, including feeds, but also monitor the progress of the ponds.
In 2015, the Provincial Agriculturist Office was able to establish 10 more communal ponds and maintained 27 communal ponds with 480 cooperators being served.
There were also 156 backyard ponds established and 530 ponds being maintained. A total of 1,255 bags of feeds were distributed and over a million of tilapia fries were dispersed in coordination with BFAR and Regional Fisheries Training Center.
The local government units, through their respective MAOs, also provided assistance like trainings and distribution of feeds.
The inland fishery agenda of the Capitol is taken as a support program of the Farmer Scientist-Training Program.