Dr. Joseph Christopher Rayos, chief of NFRDI’s Aquaculture Research and Development Division, facilitates the Input-Supply breakout group during the National Tilapia Dialogue.

To address pressing issues and concerns on tilapia, a priority commodity of the Philippine aquaculture subsector, a national dialogue was organized to bring together key stakeholders of the entire value chain of the tilapia industry.

The national dialogue was organized by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) on November 22-24, 2022 in San Fernando City, Pampanga, in lieu of the biennial Tilapia Congress.

The three-day activity aimed to identify issues and concerns affecting the tilapia industry in the different regions and craft comprehensive strategies and frameworks. To do this, breakout sessions were conducted covering the following aspects: input-supply, production, postharvest/processing, marketing/distribution, and crosscutting concerns.

Staff from the DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) participated in the dialogue led by Dr. Joseph Christopher Rayos, chief of the Aquaculture Research and Development Division (ARDD), who also presented the rationale during the opening program. Meanwhile, Niko Macaraeg of ARDD and Lea Mae Dela Cruz of the Training Division served as facilitators for the Input-Supply breakout group.

Outputs from the dialogue will serve as an action plan baseline to address issues arising within the industry as well as present the Tilapia Industry Roadmap (TIR) to highlight goals, current situations, and milestones.

About 150 participants were present during the event including representatives from various BFAR regional offices, DA attached agencies and staff bureaus, state universities and colleges, research institutions, local government units, and the private sector. ### (Lea Mae Dela Cruz)