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Abrenian fisherfolk reap first harvest of SAAD fishery program

ABRA-- Abrenian fisherfolk start to reap the gains of their livelihood project under the Special Area for Agricultural Development Program (SAAD) of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Members of the Rang-ay and Tubo Fisherfolk Association harvested around 27 kilos of fresh tilapia on July 20, 2023 during the “Aldaw ti Panagkalap” in Barangay Patiao in Peñarrubia municipality as part of the first Harvest Festival conducted by SAAD beneficiaries in the province.

BFAR-Cordillera Director Lilibeth Signey urged fisherfolk beneficiaries to continue the gains of the program to improve their livelihood. She said this during the "Aldaw ti Panagkalap" Harvest Festival on July 20, 2023 in Barangay Patiao, Peñarrubia. (Photo by: PIA-Abra)

BFAR-Cordillera Director Lilibeth Signey congratulated the associations who were able to grow and harvest the fingerlings given to them last April 10.

“Nagasat kayo ta naka-harvest kayo nga nasapa. We hope nga haan yo nga pabayaan nga kasta. You prepare again for your next cropping season,” she urged the beneficiaries.

Signey is optimistic that despite reports of El Niño that might affect production, the province and the region still experience rains to feed the associations’ 16 ponds. She also advised the beneficiaries to take advantage of the warm weather in Abra to double production.

“Daytoy SAAD program alagaan dakayo ti duwa nga taw-en. Ibig sabihin two cropping seasons kasi mainit po dito, iyong culture period ninyo dapat 3.5 to 4 months lang, nagha-harvest na kayo compared doon sa other provinces of the Cordillera nga abotin ti 6-8 months,” she explained.

Peñarrubia Municipal Administrator Delfin Bumogas highlighted that the program does not only bring livelihood to the beneficiaries but also empowers the fisherfolk to establish an enterprise that can support the fish supply needs of the municipality and other nearby areas.

“Ti program ti SAAD ket sur-surwan dakayo nga ag-alaga wenno agkalap iti lames babaen iti panangisyangkat dagitoy trainings, ti panangbayabay da kenyayo during the implementation iti programa aginggana kabaelan yon nga agsol-solo nga agkalap iti lames,” he said.

BFAR-Cordillera staff and members of the Rang-ay and Tubo Farmers and Fisherfolk Association grill the fresh tilapia harvest during the Aldaw ti Panagkalap on July 20 in Barangay Patiao, Peñarrubia. (Photo by: PIA-Abra)
Fresh tilapia harvest during the Aldaw ti Panagkalap on July 20 in Barangay Patiao, Peñarrubia are grilled ready for lunch after the Harvest Festival short program. (Photo by: PIA-Abra)

Association President Mario Turqueza thanked the government for the livelihood opportunity given to them. He looks forward to buying their own feeds and fingerlings using the money they will earn from their harvests.

“Daytoy to nga maur-urnong nga ganansya, baka isun to ti paggatang tayo ti feeds ken fingerlings tayo tapno kasta ket makatulong ti adda nga panagbiag tayo,” he said.

He also shared that the fishery assistance is also augmenting the income they get from farming.

“Ti ngamin tilapia, mabalin nga mailako ti kilo -kilo. Ti pagay kaban-kaban, no apan ka mangigatang idiay NFA, trailer- trailer pay sunga marigatan kami nga agi-gatang ti pagay mi,” he said.

With almost all the municipalities in the province Abra except for Bangued and Tubo included in the implementation of the SAAD Phase II, Provincial Fishery Officer Janet Daguio encouraged the members of the Rang-ay and Tubo Fisherfolk Association in Peñarrubia to sustain the gains they made with the program.

“Ipagpatuloy natin tapno dakayo ti umun-una nga ehemplo ti SAAD ditoy Abra kasi dakayo ti imun-una nga ag-harvest,” she said.

Based on the 2022 Philippine Statistics Office data , Abra is the second highest fish producer in the region with 700.28 metric tons, next to Ifugao.

SAAD is a program of the Department of Agriculture that aims to help marginalized sectors in agriculture and fishery.(JDP/JJPM-PIA Abra)

A member of the fisherfolk association in Barangay Patiao, Peñarrubia gets a portion of the cooked fresh tilapia harvest during the "Aldaw ti Panagkalap" on July 20, 2023. (Photo by: PIA-Abra)

About the Author

Jamie Joie Malingan

Regional Editor

Cordillera Administrative Region

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