Dr. Joseph Christopher Rayos, chief of NFRDI’s Aquaculture Research and Development Division, presents “Starting your Tilapia Business” during the aquanegosyo training at Villar Sipag Farm in Bulacan.

Twenty-seven participants from Isabela, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, and Olangapo were trained on tilapia culture through the “Aquanegosyo para sa mga Filipino: Pag-aalaga ng Tilapia sa Makabagong Panahon” held on December 1, 2022 at the Villar Sipag Farm School, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

The training was conducted by the Department of Agriculture-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) in collaboration with DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Villar SIPAG Farm School.

The capacity-building initiative sought to encourage local fish farmers to venture into tilapia culture and aquaponics technology that allow them to harvest fish and plants even in a limited space including backyard or rooftop.

Dr. Joseph Christopher Rayos, chief of NFRDI’s Aquaculture Research and Development Division (ARDD), introduced the concept and economics of tilapia aquaculture and discussed the aquaponics technology while Errol Tiburcio, Project Development Officer II of BFAR, discussed the aquaponics design. Meanwhile, Dr. Minerva Fatimae Ventolero, chief of the Genetics and Breeding Section of ARDD, trained the participants on tilapia identification.

The stocking and set up of ponds were also conducted to demonstrate the aquaponics technology. Aquaponics technology demonstration included cleaning and maintenance, planting in the aquaponics unit, and making the grow bed.

Noli Concepcion, executive assistant to Rep. Rida Robes of San Jose Del Monte City welcomed the participants; while Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos, OIC of NFRDI, delivered an inspiring message to the participants. He encouraged them to learn as much as they could so that they, too, can inspire their community to go into this kind of ‘aquanegosyo’ endeavor. ### (Norvida Gatdula)