TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Sept. 9 (PIA)--Twenty one fisherfolk of Alfonso Castaneda, Nueva Vizcaya received four freshwater fish cage projects each thru the provision of loan from the Agricultural Competitive Enhancement Fund (ACEF) program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) via the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource - Region 02 (BFAR) Regional Director Dr. Milagros Morales, FPSSD chief Dr. Severina Bueno, SB Danilo Castillo, MAO Timoteo Baysa, Provincial Fisheries Officer Leo Palolan, BFAR's aquaculture consultant Dominador Abalos, and LBP staff led the turn-over of certificates of award for the fish cages to the program beneficiaries in the municipality on August 29.
The individual approved loan amounting to Php298,000 each will be paid by the beneficiaries with a 2 percent annual interest for a period of three years. The loan is collateral free, hence, the cages will serve as a chattel mortgage. Equity of the loan borrower is the labor component.
Abalos said that the four 5mx5mx5m (1m above water) cages, when stocked with 30 pieces of tilapia per cubic meter or 3,000 pieces per cage, could produce 2,550 kilos of marketable tilapia at 85 percent survival.
He added that after 4-5 months of culture period, the stocks are expected to weigh 250grams or four pieces per kilogram. The fish cages will be established within Canili Lake, where several fish cage demo projects were implemented in the past.
The BFAR consultant said that the beneficiaries have to implement cost reduction measures like bulk buying of inputs and sharing of facilities in order to maximize their income.
Bueno, meawhile, noted that with the installation of 84 fish cages in the municipality, BFAR has surpassed its 70 cages target in the province for 2019 under the said loan program.
Morales, in addressing the beneficiaries, emphasized that "The agency is giving you the chance to start a business. A business that will help you uplift your lives, earn money, and help you in raising your children."
She said that the program will help in the attainment of the "Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita" program of agriculture Secretary William Dar.
The director also lauded the BFAR staff, LGU, LBP, and the fisherfolk for the successful availing of the ACEF loan program, they being the first to avail in the region.
On the other hand, Palolan said that construction of cages can start upon the release of loan from the Nueva Vizcaya Lending Center of LBP. He added that production from the cages can significantly boost the supply of fish in the area, being landlocked and upland in nature.
The BFAR RO2 is responsible in the preparation of loan documents, technical assistance and has also awarded 3 fiberglass boats to be used in the area.
Alfonso Castaneda is proposing an additional 60 fish cages thru the ACEF loan. (ALM/PIA-2/Fisheries Information Section)