The DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), through its Technology Business Incubation (TBI) program, harvested a total of 605,000 tilapia fingerlings for its second cycle with 60-70 percent survival rate in Calapan City, Naujan, Victoria, and Bansud, Oriental Mindoro.

Five incubatees reared the tilapia fingerlings for two months and then sold and transferred to nearby farms for grow-out culture. The project aimed to increase the quality of tilapia fingerling production and to establish linkages among fingerling producers to grow-out farms and local markets in Mindoro province.

To ensure the success of tilapia fingerling production, incubatees were closely monitored by the NFRDI technical staff and project leader led by Myleen Magistrado of the Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (FFRDC), in collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 4B MIMAROPA.

Nelson Ramat, tilapia nursery farmer from Bansud, Oriental Mindoro expressed his gratitude and learnings to NFRDI. “Dahil sa proyekto ng NFRDI, mas nadagdagan pa ang aming produksyon at kita sa pagti-tilapia, mas nadagdagan din ang aming buyers dahil sa quality tilapia fingerlings na aming na produce dahil sa pagsunod sa mature package of technology sa tilapia fingerlings production tulad ng tamang pond preparation, feeding and water management na itinuro sa amin ng NFRDI”.

Currently, incubatees have started preparing their nursery farms and conducting the stocking of tilapia fry for the third cycle in March.

Even with the immense yearly production, tilapia farming in the country faces numerous challenges, such as a lack of quality fry and fingerling to support local farmers and market demands. Through the ABS-TBI project, livelihood and income of the fisherfolk will improve by adopting the package of technology in tilapia fingerlings production. ### (James Carl Arespi)