Agriculture Secretary William Dar led the inauguration of the country’s first Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) Shrimp Hatchery and Broodstock Development Center in Barangay Labasan, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro recently.
“It’s such a historic occasion to really emphasize that Oriental Mindoro is home to the first DA-BFAR Shrimp Hatchery in the country. Hindi lang Mindoro island ang sinusuportahan nito, all other regions in the country will depend on the fry to be raised here in Bongabong,” Dar said.
With a P24-million funding support under the Bayanihan 2, the hatchery is a component of BFAR’s National Hipon Iangat ang Produksyon (HIPON) Program and will focus on the medium-scale production of Penaeus vannamei with a target of 50 million fry per year.
“Ang mga mangingisda, shrimp farmers, at entrepreneurs dito ay makakaasa na mayroong ganitong facility ang BFAR na tutulong sa inyo in terms of improved fry that you need in growing and developing the shrimp industry in Oriental Mindoro,” the agriculture chief said.
The hatchery’s first phase implementation covers the Fry Production Facility, while its target expansion or second phase will cover the Grow-out and Broodstock Development Facility.
The facility, which includes a laboratory, natural food tank, larval rearing tank, powerhouse/pump house, water reservoir, and covered work area, will provide registered shrimp farmers and 197 BFAR-registered shrimp farms in the region to have a year-round supply of fry.
Considering the challenges in municipal and open sea fishing, the agriculture head said that aquaculture is a rising industry.
“Aquaculture will really be the future of the fishery industry.”
“Aquaculture will really be the future of the fishery industry and there are three major commodities na binibigyan natin ng pansin: milkfish, tilapia, at ito ngayong shrimp,” he added.
The new hatchery will promote the use of aquaculture areas particularly brackishwater and provide additional employment in the fishery sector.
To date, there are about 25,865 registered fisherfolk in Oriental Mindoro and the province has brackishwater fishpond area of 3,108 hectares.
In his message, Dar challenged DA-Mimaropa Regional Executive Director Antonio Gerundio and DA-BFAR Mimaropa Regional Director Elizer Salilig to help develop Oriental and Occidental Mindoro as the food supply island for the National Capital Region.
“You are not only securing food for your province but also helping the nearest market for you.”
“That is something we should work harder in terms of having more sustainable shrimp farms in the whole island of Mindoro, because you are not only securing food for your province but also helping the nearest market for you, which is Metro Manila,” he said.
Dar also recognized the strong support of the local government units and the academic institutions for the programs that will benefit the agriculture and fisheries sector.