To empower target beneficiaries of the Technology Business Incubation (TBI) projects on matured aquaculture technologies and entrepreneurship, the DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), through the Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (FFRDC) conducted a two-part training on hatchery and nursery operation of tilapia and milkfish.

Through a combined face-to-face and online training via Zoom app at FFRDC, participants were composed of TBI “incubatees” in Mindoro including representatives from the local government units (LGUs), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and private operators from regions 3, 4A, 5. They were trained on hatchery and nursery operation of tilapia on April 11-12; and nursery operation of milkfish on April 14-15, 2023.

Myleen Magistrado, FFRDC project leader, welcomed incubatees and discussed the overview, roles and responsibilities, timeline, and deliverables of the project. Meanwhile, Dr. Maria Theresa Mutia, program leader of Aqua Business School-TBI was hopeful that through these best practices and protocols production of milkfish and tilapia will improve. 

Ang gusto natin ay mapalago pa ito [project] at matutunan natin ang mga best practices at protocols sa pag-aalaga ng tilapia at bangus, dahil dito we can still improve our production and income through these established protocols,” she said.

“Gusto lang din po namin i-enhance yung entrepreneurship, kaya nga po kayo ay nagnenegosyo ay dahil gusto ninyo kumita, so paano pa patataasin ang production at kita, ito po yung isa sa i-introduce sa project na ito,” Dr. Mutia added.

In response, Josehari Sarabia, OIC-Fisheries Capture Section of BFAR 4B was grateful that Mindoro has been chosen as the venue for the training, enabling them to contribute to the production of the fishery sector. “Kami po ay nagpapasalamat dahil sa dami ng rehiyon sa ating bansa ay napili ang Region 4B sa probinsya ng Mindoro upang tulungan ang ating mga fisherfolk at gayun din upang makatulong sa ating annual production sa fisheries sector,” he said.

Lecturers from the BFAR-National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center (NFFTC) in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, and the BFAR-National Fisheries Technology Development Center (NFTDC) in Dagupan, Pangasinan, shared their knowledge and expertise in the farming operations of tilapia and milkfish.

The training focused on established protocols developed by Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), BFAR, and NFRDI on pond preparation, rearing, feeding and water management, harvesting, and transporting. 

On entrepreneurship, the incubatees were taught marketing, simple cost and return analysis, monitoring, and recordkeeping. They also toured various demonstration farms in Batangas and fish cages around Taal Lake. ### (Rita dela Cruz)