The Department of Agriculture-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI), in partnership with the Villar SIPAG Farm School, trained 45 leaders from fisheries cooperatives and associations on fish smoking technology on February 9, 2023 in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

The “Training on AquaNegosyo para sa mga Filipino: Ligtas na Pamamaraan ng Pagtitinapa ng Isda” aimed to enhance their knowledge and skills in fish smoking technology, providing them with the tools necessary to improve their operations and increase their livelihoods. This contributes to DA’s overall goal of alleviating poverty in the countryside by ensuring food safety.

Revitalizing an age-old technique in the Philippines, fish smoking is now being implemented with updated protocols to meet the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Sanitation Standards Operating Procedure (SSOP). This move aims to elevate the country’s fishery products to be more competitive in the global market, ensuring the quality and safety of these products for consumers locally and abroad.

Hindi lamang dagdag kita sa ating mga negosyo ang ating matututunan, kundi pati na ang pangangalaga sa ating mga resources,” said Senator Cynthia Villar in her video message.

Dr. Ulysses Montojo, Riza Banicod, and Deserie Peralta of the NFRDI-Fisheries Postharvest Research and Development Division served as resource speakers. Also present were Noli Concepcion, executive assistant to the Office of San Jose Del Monte Mayor; and technical staff from NFRDI-Training Division.

The capacity-building initiative sought to empower trainees to roll out the technology with fish processors and to motivate them to start fish-smoking ventures that will ultimately support the country’s goal of achieving food security.

NFRDI is slated to conduct two more training sessions this year on freshwater aquaculture and disease management of aquatic animals in the same training venue. ### (Norvida Gatdula)