Ifugao fisherfolk receive P2 million assistance from DA-BAR
by Dan B. Codamon
Lagawe, Ifugao (28 February) -- Fisherfolks from the municipalities of Alfonso Lista and Lamut this province recently received P2 million grant from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) as part of their task to enhance technology transfer to the fishery sector.
The fund was released under the project Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) on Fishpond Tilapia to promote the adoption of improved fish production technology and their processing and marketing by training the tilapia fishermen in using the so-called fisherfolk field school (FFS) approach.
Tilapia production in the municipalities of Alfonso Lista and Lamut flourished since the construction of the Magat Hydro Power Dam and the Hapid Irrigation Project respectively. Since then, tilapia production boomed so that more and more rice fields and idle lands were excavated and converted into fishponds for the tilapia fish.
However, with the increase of inputs for fishpond tilapia raising, the fisherfolks have been encountering a decrease in income though they have lots of potentials because they cannot produce more due to limited funds and skills for wider fish industry endeavors.
The CPAR project will then target 40 fisherfolk households in Barangays Halag of Alfonso Lista and 40 more from Hapid and Sanafe in Lamut who are mostly earning meager income.
The financial assistance is expected to improve the resource management capability of the beneficiaries, promote processing and packaging of their product and display them during trade fairs at the Provincial Livelihood Center to encourage other fisherfolks to grow and process their tilapia to increase their income through improved fish production technology.
To achieve these purposes, farmer's classes shall be conducted following the stages of the tilapia production and the farmer cooperators will be working in groups to "learn by doing" in the fish farms which will also serve as their farmer's field school.
Following the production cycle, training will take place at crucial points in the development and the new improved technology can be demonstrated for the farmers to see and follow.
The strategy is meant to increase farmers' interest in attending trainings by taking it out from the classroom and into the field where direct, hands-on and learning by doing will be used.
The fund from the DA-BAR was already transferred to the Ifugao Provincial Treasury and the project shall be under the close supervision and monitoring by the Provincial Agriculture Office and supported by the Municipal Agriculture Offices of Alfonso Lista and Lamut.
Assistance from the local government units will phase out as soon as the fisherfolk cooperators feel that the package of services have proven capable of providing them sustainable increase in production and income which will be reviewed during meetings leading to the completion of the project. (PIA Ifugao) [top]