ASIDE from mining, the aquaculture sector is set to help boost the economy of Compostela Valley.
The two-year aquaculture program that started in 2016 was crafted in order to position the province as a potential agricultural investment hub.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Compostela Valley Provincial Director Lucky Siegfred M. Balleque said the potential income from the aquatic resources of the province can help farmers in value-adding aside from earning in the farmlands.
“We have crafted a two-year aquaculture plan for Compostela Valley, and so far with the program, we have achieved initially, on the value-adding and processing. And we have developed two products—bottled bangus and bottled tilapia,” Balleque said, adding the program is also a collaborative plan with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
The aquatic resource agency is responsible for the production technicalities for the marine produce, while DTI manages on marketing and manufacturing processes.
“Although hindi pa siya on a large commercial scale pero gumawa na kami ng mga trainings para matuto silang magproduce ng bottled marine products (Although it’s not yet on a large commercial scale, but we already conducted trainings for fisher folks to produce bottled marine products),” Balleque said.
The Trade provincial director also said Negosyo Centers are being added in order to support the potential market for the bottled tilapia and bangus.
In 2017, DTI-Compostela Valley opened the newest addition of Negosyo Centers in Maragusan and Laak. Other Negosyo Centers in the province are open at the DTI provincial office, Nabunturan, Monkayo, Maco, and Compostela.
Balleque said the other municipalities are set to open their Negosyo Centers next 2018.
“But really the objective the aquaculture plan is to really increase the production, and of course to also improve the value-adding products of the province’s aquaculture industry,” Balleque said.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Davao region records show Compostela Valley's municipal fish production went down to 330.62 metric tons (mt) in 2017 from 468.04 mt in 2016.