Benita M. Maldepeña (center) holds a piece of her tilapia harvest with Dr. Casiano Choresca (2nd from left) and Dr. Joseph Rayos (left) of DA-NFRDI during the harvest ceremony on Feb. 21, 2023 in Pacita, Lala, Lanao del Norte.

A partner-cooperator of the Aquafeed Research, Development and Extension Project (ARDEP) in Pacita, Lala, Lanao del Norte, harvested 867 kilos of tilapia grown in brackishwater pond after a four-month culture period on February 21, 2023.

Mrs. Benita M. Maldepeña, one of the six partner cooperators, used the technology on cost-effective aquafeed for tilapia developed by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD).

ARDEP aimed to pilot test the SEAFDEC-developed aquafeed for milkfish and tilapia in various on-farm cooperators’ sites and determine growth and biological parameters and economic viability in using the feeds across the country.

Funded by NFRDI, the ARDEP on-farm test in Pacita, Lala, Lanao Del Norte is being implemented in collaboration with SEAFDEC-AQD and the Department of Agriculture’s National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) through its Brackishwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (BFRDC).

Present during the harvest were: Dr. Casiano Choresca, Scientist I and NFRDI-BFRDC OIC; Dr. Joseph Rayos, NFRDI-ARDD chief; Noel Saldajeno of the Provincial Fisheries Officer-Lanao del Norte; Rey Eduardo Hojas, BFAR 10-Regional Fisheries Laboratory Section OIC; and other technical staff from BFAR 10 and NFRDI.

The project has been possible through the efforts of NFRDI Executive Director Lillian Garcia, SEAFDEC-AQD Chief Dan Baliao, NFRDI-BFRDC OIC-Chief Dr. Casiano Choresca, and Project Leaders:  Dr. Maria Theresa Mutia, chief of NFRDI-FFRDC and Dr. Roger Edward Mamauag, head of SEAFDEC-AQD’s Technology Verification and Extension Division. ### (Clark Adrian Abao and Shaena Mae Mahusay)