Women’s group produces bottled sardines-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Monday, March 5, 2012
A WOMEN association in the village of Sta. Maria, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, has ventured into the production of bottled sardines with the assistance of the TVI Resource Development Inc. (TVIRD).
The TVIRD is the Philippine affiliate of TVI Pacific Inc., a publicly listed Canadian mining company, which is into copper and zinc mining in Sitio Canatuan, Tabayo village, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.
TVIRD Director for Public Affairs Ron Jabal said the group, known as the Sta. Maria Women Association (SMWA), has started the production of bottled sardines last week just as the closed season for commercial fishing was lifted.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has lifted closed season for commercial fishing last Thursday, March 1.
The closed season that was implemented starting December 1 of last year was aimed to pave the way for the fishes, especially tamban, which is the primary raw materials for sardine production, to spawn or reproduce.
The sardine production project of the SMWA is aimed to jumpstart an alternative livelihood projects for the women of Siocon municipality.
Joel Alasco, manager of the TVIRD Community Relations and Development Office (CREDO), said the sardines-making project is under TVIRD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program and funded by the Social Development Management Plan (SDMP).
The production of the bottled sardines was the offshoot of a training program attended by 12 officers and members of SMWA at the Dipolog School of Fisheries in Dipolog City, the capital of Zamboanga del Norte province.
The TVIRD has provided P100,000 for the training and cooking materials and for the improvement of the area where the sardines are being prepared by the SMWA.
The SMWA's small sardine factory is located in Sitio Busicong in Barangay Sta. Maria, Siocon municipality.
The factory was established in Sitio Busicong due to its proximity to the sea where “tamban-tuloy”--the fish used for the sardines--is abundant and where there is ample supply of water--which is another project sponsored by TVIRD.
So far, Jabal said the bottled sardines produced by the SMWA are being bought by the Exploration Department of TVIRD and Engineer Jun Antipolo who wants to have a monthly supply of the sardines to be delivered in Ipil, the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay province.
Jabal said the SMWA, which is aggressively looking for other buyers to make the project more sustainable, processes a minimum of 158 bottles per batch of production. Each bottle costs P55.
The bottled sardines that are being produced by the association are labeled “mananam”, a vernacular word which means delicious.
SMWA president Manuela Canonayon said the sardines production project will help augment “our income and prepare us for the future.”
Canonayon and her 11 members vowed to manage well the project and to make it sustainable.
“We are fortunate that TVIRD gave us the chance to learn the technology and gave us the capital to start the production. For this, we are very grateful to TVIRD,” Canonayaon added.
She said they are already planning to recruit and train more members to increase the association's bottled sardines production.