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DA-BFAR program to support Central Luzon’s “bangus” industry

A program to promote the “bangus” (milkfish) industry in the area will be put into place by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Central Luzon (DA-BFAR 3).

Fisherfolk organizations and representatives from the local government units in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, and Zambales held an initial meeting to discuss issues, concerns, and plans for the implementation of the Bangus Development Program, according to Wilfredo Cruz, the DA-BFAR 3 Regional Director and national focal person for bangus development.

“We aimed at coming out with a detailed implementation plan for the Bangus development program in the region while at the same time, identifying solutions and strategies that may arise during the implementation proper,” he said in a statement.

Cruz added that during their discussion, he laid out the concept for the project on the construction of community-based larval rearing and wild-fry storage facilities in major provinces in the region.

This is just one of the many interventions planned as part of the National Bangus Program to improve the value chain’s early input stages. This measure would help not simply to enhance productivity but also to ensure that only solid stock supply is produced,” he added.

Cruz cited the demand for more milkfish fry as a result of the growth of production areas both locally and nationally.

He claimed that in order to keep up with the rising demand, the nation is already importing milkfish fry from Indonesia.

As a result, he said, “We launched this program and hopefully within the next five years, we will have enough milkfish fry.”

Cruz is also looking forward to cooperating closely with the major companies in the sector and the project’s helpful government partners.

“We still have a long way to go, but with all of them working by the DA-BFAR’s side, I am sure that we will be able to reach our goal of bangus commodity sufficiency towards an abundant agriculture and prosperous economy,” he added.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority shows that milkfish is one of the primary species that contributed to the growth of the region’s overall fisheries production in 2022.

The increase from 86,750.4 metric tons in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 89,943.4 metric tons, or a 3.7 percent increase, was estimated.

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