Local Tilapia hatchery and nursery sites are activated in six municipalities to sustain the government’s expanding inland fishery program.
From a mere food security program conceptualized in 1997 by then chairman of the committee on agriculture Vice Governor Apolionio Abines, the program has evolved into a livelihood program.
Capitol Fisheries Section Chief Aylen T. Cielo said they used to rely on the fry and fingerlings provided by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). But because of the increasing number of fish farmers, they experienced shortfall of the tilapia inputs.
The municipalities tapped to have their hatchery and nursery facilities are Oslob, Ronda, Moalboal, Catmon, San Fernando, and Alegria. Balamban and Dumanjug will also open theirs soon.
Cielo called out tilapia fish farmers to acquire fry and fingerlings from these sites instead of getting them from BFAR facility in Bohol.
There around 16 local government units (LGUs) that have tilapia communal ponds. The province supported the program by providing one set of tilapia feeds in one cropping—from the laying of frys or fingerlings up to harvest time. At least Php 600,000 is set aside for the purchase of tilapia feeds.
Selected fish farmers in the said towns were trained by BFAR how to grow tilapia breeders last June as per request of Gov. Hilario P. Davide III.
In Alegria alone, the program only started in 2008 in Barangay Montpeller with BFAR conducting the seminar. Now, the program expanded to Barangays Compostela and Valencia.
“Makatabang jud ni nila (fish farmers) kay di na sila kinahanglan moadto sa ubos aron lang mopalit ug sud-an. Diri presko pa jud ang isda ug barato (This really helped them because they do not need to go down to the town market to buy fish. Here, the fish is fresh and cheaper),” said Severina Gomez, Alegria inland fishery coordinator.
Gomez was in Barangay Valencia last October 29 to assist a farmer in segregating the Tilapia breeders with the assistance of the Provincial Agriculturist Office staff.
The program was originally thought of to provide farmers in the upland of fresh fish meat without relying so much on the municipal waters in 1997.
However, it has also evolved into a livelihood program.
In Valencia, Barangay Captain Ricky Lendio said 12 farmers started a communal pond including himself in 2009. Now, there are 30 Tilapia fish farmers in the barangay and each of them has its own backyard pond.
“Sa akong tan-aw successful jud ning proyektoha, nahug maning livelihood program kay ni daghan man mi karon. Ug makita man jud nato nga nikita ang atong Tilapia farm diri sa Valencia (I believe the program is successful because this has become a livelihood program and we are growing in numbers. It is also evident that the farm is earning”, said Lendio.
Lendio said his 168-square-meters pond would harvest 200 kilos of tilapia from 800 frys. The price of tilapia in the upland is sold for Php 80 to Php 100 per kilo.
He added that the tilapia farms in his barangay are already known in their neighboring towns. He said they already have buyers from a more populated town in Moalboal.