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The government reiterates its support for the PH shrimp sector.

During the virtual 13th Philippine Shrimp Congress, key government leaders reaffirmed their support for the growth of the shrimp sector, one of the country’s primary aquaculture commodities.

Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, as well as the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, acknowledged in her keynote speech at the event’s opening ceremony on Tuesday that the Philippines’ shrimp aquaculture industry is constantly growing and providing significant revenue, jobs, and food security.

“The Philippine shrimp business has had great success selling to Japan’s tight market.” The Philippines is an archipelago country with a lot of potentials in terms of growing municipal waters and aquaculture farms “she stated

“Although the industry will face many problems during the pandemic, the government, research institutions, industry participants, as well as local fishermen and shrimp growers, must work on developing a cooperation and support structure for the industry to thrive,” she added.

Villar also stressed the significance of teamwork and competitiveness. “In order for the shrimp sector to thrive, government policy should be favorable.” This can only be accomplished if stakeholders communicate with one another, make proposals for the government, and have people from the BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources) listen to, analyze, and synthesize these suggestions for the industry’s overall benefit. ‘The Philippines should study the successful shrimp industries of India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia and learn from them,’ she said.

Shrimp growers, hatcheries, feed millers, exporters, suppliers, experts, and institutions promoting and supporting the country’s shrimp sector gathered for the 13th Philippine Shrimp Congress.

“These are once every two years gatherings for the industry to revive spirits, friendships, learn new things, explore opportunities, and collaborate for the future,” stated Norberto O. Chingcuanco, this year’s Congress Chairperson.

Chingcuanco also stressed the need for the shrimp industry’s continued contribution to national food security and economic growth to be sustainable and environmentally responsible.

“When it comes to economic growth, we’re talking about the prospects for livelihood that the shrimp industry provides, even in the most remote parts of the country.” The business has also realized that it must protect the environment since “our livelihood is dependent on the quality and sanitation of our surroundings,” he added.

This year’s Shrimp Congress provides a virtual forum for people to share ideas, learn from people with a wide range of experience and knowledge, improve networks, meet partners, open markets, and exchange ideas. “Philippine Shrimp Industry: A Paradigm Shift to a Sustainable New Normal” is the theme.

Undersecretary Chery Marie Natividad-Caballero of the Department of Agriculture (DA) recognized the shrimp industry’s economic impact as one of the country’s important commodities, with the Philippines ranking fourth in Southeast Asia and eighth globally.

Pampanga, Lanao del Norte, Camarines Norte, Pangasinan, and Misamis Occidental are the provinces that produce monodons. We look forward to strengthening more government partnerships with you, especially those in the private sector, to help you improve your productivity and become more competitive in your businesses, as we aim to provide similar support to the improvement of the vannamei in Sarangani, Cebu, Zambales, Cagayan de Oro, and Bohol, as well as other emerging areas,” she explained.

DA-BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona, for one, underscored the agency’s support for the shrimp industry during a virtual press briefing on the margins of the event.

“We reaffirm our commitment to the industry. We guarantee the shrimp business that the government will continue to provide all essential interventions to help the industry thrive, and our goal has always been to achieve sustainable growth and inclusive advancement in the fisheries sector,” he said.

Roberto O. Gatuslao, president, PHILSHRIMP & NPPC; Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos “Sonny” G. Dominguez III, Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla, National Economic and Development Authority- Regional Development Group; and Honorable Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga, Chairman, Committee on Agriculture and Food House of Representatives were among those who attended the event’s opening ceremony.

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