Award-winning women's group embarks on new livelihood projects
Tuguegarao City (4 March) -- The Rural Improvement Club of Brgy. Centro in the town of Sta. Ana this province has again discovered hit products from the different marine products in their area through fish processing using low-cost fish such as tulingan, chabita, dilis, alamang, espada, dalagang bukid, galunggong, flying fish, and dorado.
Taking advantage of the abundance of these marine fishes this summer season, the RIC members are processing them into different products such as longganisa, tocino, fish lumpia and rolls.
The women's group also processes low-cost fish such as parrot fish (mulmol) and shark into value-added products like longganisa, lumpiang shanghai, and nuggets and sell these at their bagsakan center.
The women's group manages the bagsakan center which was adjudged as the Best Barangay Bagsakan Center nationwide in 2009.
Beniflor Guittap, president of the RIC Brgy Centro, Sta Ana proudly narrated that they are running short of supply because their products are easily sold out.
According to Guittap, a 10-kilo raw material (sliced shark meat) turns to 6.5 kilos when its bones and skin are removed. The meat likewise is leached using cheesecloth to remove water, blood and off-odors. Leaching will also improve resistance to damage during freezing.
"Thanks to the fish processing training and equipment from the bureau of fisheries, we were able to add another hit product in our bagsakan center," Guittap said.
The RIC sells its products from 45 to 60 pesos per 250 grams and 90 to 120 pesos for 500-gram pack.
Meanwhile the employees' cooperative of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources here likewise makes value added products from tilapia like longganisa, tocino, fish lumpia and rolls and sell these on per order basis. Meat recovery for tilapia with the size of 3 pieces or more to a kilo is 40%.
The cooperative sells 350-gram pack of tocino and 400 grams longganisa for 135 pesos.
What is good about fish processing according to BFAR RO2 fish processing expert Proserfina Reyno, is that there can be no waste at all. The viscera can be turned to fish paste, the bones into fish powder, and the skin into chicharon.
The products are prepared using readily available equipment and thus are ideal for small-scale livelihood venture, Reyno said. With proper handling and storage, refrigerated products can last one week, and one month for frozen products. (PIA 2) [top]