Dr. Maria Theresa M. Mutia, chief of the NFRDI’s Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center, presents the results of the ARDEP during the consultative meeting.

To discuss the results of the aquafeed project including available support, recommendations, and ways forward for technology adoption, the DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), organized a consultative meeting with different feedmill cooperatives, stakeholders, and officials from the DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 1, 3, and 4A on December 2, 2022 in Taal, Batangas and via online platform.

Through the Aquafeed Research, Development and Extension Project (ARDEP), a cost-effective feed formulation for milkfish and tilapia was developed by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD).

Through trials conducted at NFRDI and BFAR research stations across the country, results showed that the SEAFDEC/AQD-fed milkfish and tilapia can compete with the commercially-fed in terms of growth performance and other biological parameters with the statistically similar results obtained from the tests.

“We are aiming for this aquafeed project to be outscaled and be readily available to our fisherfolk. We want this technology to be transferred to feedmill cooperatives because they are the ones who will use this technology,” said Dr. Maria Theresa M. Mutia, chief of the NFRDI’s Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center, during the consultative meeting.

“Our thrust at SEAFDEC is for these research results to be trickled down to fish farmers themselves because for a long-time these research results have just been staying on papers and scientific journals,” said Dr. Roger Edward Mamauag of SEAFDEC/AQD, who also developed the feed formulation.

Highlights of the consultative meeting included the presentations of on-station field tests of the aquafeed project.

Present during the meeting were feedmill cooperatives namely: Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC) and Limcoma Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Also attending were Tayabas Fishery Association (President Salvador Amoyo and members); officials from BFAR regions 1 (Dianalyn Padayhag), 3 (Ralph Atabay and Stephen Lapid), 4A (Emiliana Casbadillo and Krystine Escosura); local government unit of Tayabas, Quezon (Leovina Flores) and Agoncillo, Batangas (Oliva Mirasol); and Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Taal Volcano Protected Landscape-Protected Area Management Office (APASu Jasmine Andaya and Felmar Cornel). ### (Rita dela Cruz)