The DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), through the Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (FFRDC), presented significant accomplishments of the Technology Business Incubation (TBI) project on tilapia and milkfish to the incubatees and local government units (LGUs) of Mindoro on May 2-3, 2024.

Presenting the accomplishments from FFRDC were Myleen Magistrado, project leader and Senior Science Research Specialist; and James Carl Arespi, Science Research Specialist I.

“Gusto namin na mapaunlad kayo. Gusto namin na mapromote kayo hindi lang bilang nag-aalaga ng tilapia at milkfish kundi maturuan kayong maging entrepreneurs at madevelop ang inyong mga farm bilang aquafarm model school dito sa Mindoro,” Magistrado said.

Arespi presented the project’s progress and compared the farmer’s practice with the package of technologies (POTs) introduced by the project. He also discussed the increase in the quality of fry and fingerling production and the market linkage system of tilapia and milkfish in the province.

Throughout the project, incubatees produced 3 million tilapia fry, 995,000 tilapia fingerlings, and 890,000 milkfish fingerlings, with additional production occurring in 2-5 cycles during the project period. These were distributed to grow-out farmers in the province. Significant findings were achieved through technology interventions, including proper pond preparation, feeding and water management, and the strengthening of market linkages. In addition, Magistrado presented the cost and return analysis of the project, which showed profits of PhP 67,500 – PhP 334,125 and returns on investment ranging 50-80 percent.

The participants also exchanged views on the learnings and best practices from POTs, problems encountered, actions taken, and the project’s sustainability plan.

BFAR 4B Assistant Regional Director Roberto Abrera expressed his gratitude and shared insights on the implementation of project in the region. “Isa ito sa importanteng proyekto kungsaan direct nating natutulungan ang ating fisherfolk at unti-unting nagkakaroon ng pagtaas ng produksyon sa ating lalawigan, kaya tulong-tulong tayo upang mapagpatuloy at mapagtagumpayan ang bawat proyekto ng gobyerno para sa ating mga fisherfolk,” he said.

Through NFRDI’s ABS -TBI program, selected incubatees are being developed as “aquafarm business school”. Established in 2023, the program provides livelihood for the fisherfolk by promoting various aquaculture POTs including “Hatchery and Nursery Operation of Tilapia and Milkfish in Mindoro Province”.

For 2024, the project continuously monitors the incubatees’ production of quality tilapia and milkfish fingerlings to support grow-out farmers in the province and subsequently prepare them to develop their farms into an aquafarm business school.

The successful implementation of the project was made possible through the collaborative efforts of NFRDI Executive Director Lilian Garcia, BFAR-4B Regional Director Emmanuel Asis, and the project leaders of the ABS-TBI Program. ### (James Carl Arespi)