BFAR pushes for aquaculture in urban, farmlands and IP areas
BAGUIO CITY, Aug. 30 (PIA) – – The Bureau of Aquatic Resources (BFAR), in support to the Department of Agriculture’s “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra sa COVID – 19” or the Plant Plant Plant program, is advocating local aquaculture or fish production down to the community level especially in areas that are far from fish sources.
DA Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongono, in an interview during his visit here Thursday, disclosed that the bureau is undertaking a program with the National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP) for possible aquaculture or fish farm project areas in IP communities.
Gongono said they are looking into a total of 100,000 hectares of fish farms in the different IP communities in the country wherein the government through BFAR will help indigenous communities set – up an aquaculture project and this will help a lot in ensuring food availability, particularly of fish products in their areas.
He also outlined the importance of incorporating fish farming with other agricultural products such as in vegetable farms.
If Cordillera has rice terraces, the region can also produce fish terraces and this will help in ensuring the availability of fish products that are difficult to bring in some communities in the region, Gongono said.
In its effort to ensure food availability especially fish products in Cordillera, the BFAR recently launched the solar – powered AquaPonics System, a technology that combines aquaculture and hydroponics that grows plants and fish together in one integrated system. BFAR has already provided ten units of solar – powered AquaPonics system to four public high schools and six fisherfolks (aquaculture cooperators) in Baguio City.
“The best thing that we can do in this pandemic is to have backyard gardens and fish farms ; with vegetable and fish supplies readily available in the backyard, this will ensure that there will always be food in the table especially during this crisis time”, Gongono stressed.
The USec also disclosed that they are strengthening aquaculture production especially the bangus (milk fish) to increase the sufficiency of fish supplies in every community.One key component of the program, he said, is the reduction of the overhead cost on feeds. BFAR is now looking into contract farming for feed production as well as on setting up of feed processing centers that can also help produce livelihood and employment opportunities in the countryside.
Meanwhile, in partnership with the Inter – agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, BFAR ensures the unhampered delivery of fish products from the farms to the market during this period of the COVID-19, Gongono said. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)