The program aims to develop pangasius production both as a viable livelihood and a lucrative business venture that can attract more investments and create more jobs in the countryside.
Before launching the program at the Dolores Farm Resort in Polomolok, the President will witness the harvesting of the pangasius catfish, which is touted as a new delicacy with a huge export market potential.
The program launch will be highlighted by the presentation to the President of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by Mindanao stakeholders, including fish contract growers and feeds suppliers.
Pangasius catfish production and processing is one of the Department of Trade and Industry’s seven projects in Region 12 under the government’s Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency and Employment Program (CLEEP).
The program is a collaborative initiative among the DTI, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), techno demo fishpond operators, and RDEX International Food, Inc., a seafood processing plant based in the General Santos City.
Under their signed accord, government agencies will provide fund assistance for techno trainings and seminars, as well as support for market development, research and trade negotiations. They will likewise oversee the implementation of programs and projects to help sustain them.
Mindanao’s ideal climate has encouraged the culture and production of the pangasius catfish in the region since it was introduced last year.
Pangasius catfish production, aside from meeting local demand, offers bright export opportunities since the fish variety is also in great demands in the United States, Russia and the European market.
The Philippines, in fact, imports from Vietnam 30-40 container vans or 600 metric tons of Pangasius fillets monthly valued at US$1.65 million.
Dorecita Delima, DTI-Central Mindanao assistant regional director, said the project initially targets to substitute imports with locally processed quality fillet and meet the growing demand for fresh and whole pangasius in the domestic market.
Delima said the industry is seen to be capable of generating sufficient volume to cater to both local and export markets by 2010.
Based on studies, the production cycle of the Pangasius catfish takes six month, with the fish weighing one to one-and-a-half kilogram per piece.
A hectare of fresh water pond could accommodate 100,000 fingerlings, which could net at least 85,000 kilos at 80 percent survival rate.
After the six-month cycle, a mature live Pangasius catfish fetches a farm gate price of P70 per kilogram. A hectare of freshwater pond could therefore yield a Pangasius harvest worth at least P5.950 million.
For more information, contact:
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Building,
Elliptical Road Diliman, Quezon City
Phones: (02) 929-9597/8074
Email : email@example.com
Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency and Employment Program
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CLEEP)
385 Industry and Investments Bldg.
Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
Telephone: (02) 751-0384
source: www.gov.ph, photo from worldofpangasius.com.vn