Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
07 February 2014
SEAWEED FARMERS IN YOLANDA-HIT AREAS GET HELP FROM BFAR
The Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) sends out its vessel, F/V Tambakol, on a mission to distribute seaweed farming implements to seaweed farmers affected by supertyphoon Yolanda.
Said fishing vessel was loaded with 19. 8 tons of farming materials including seaweed seedlings, nylon ropes, plastic twines and floaters when it left Sangley Point, Cavite and sailed for Eastern and Western Visayas last month.
In coordination with the local government units (LGUs) of Caluya Island in Antique and Iloilo and Palompon in Leyte, the bureau brought down seaweed farming materials estimated to benefit more than 3, 000 seaweed farmers in the said coastal areas.
"A total of 405.7 million pesos from the approved rehabilitation fund of the fisheries sector has been allotted to aquaculture sector to fast track its recovery. Of which, 178 million pesos is for the rehabilitation of the typhoon-hit seaweed farming areas," said BFAR national director Asis G. Perez.
Report on the damage assessment by the BFAR said that more than 2,000 hectares of seaweed farms were affected by Typhoon Yolanda in MIMAROPA, Central and Eastern Visayas and the Bicol Region.
With good weather condition, proper planting and maintenance procedures, seaweeds can grow ready for harvest only after 45 days of seeding, said Perez. Adding that a fisherfolk with a hectare of seaweed farm can earn an estimated amount of 200, 000 pesos in four (4) cropping periods per year
Seaweed production suffers an 11% decline from last year's 1.75 million metric tons (MT) due to natural calamities like typhoons Wilma and Yolanda and incidences of "ice-ice" disease in some major seaweed-producing provinces like Zamboanga del Norte and Tawi-Tawi. Its value, however, grew by 1.30% due to price appreciation and high demand for some seaweed species. (BAS Preliminary Data)
This 2014, BFAR will intensify its national seaweed program by establishing 66 seaweed nurseries across the country and expanding its production in the Philippine Eastern Seaboard, a non-traditional seaweed production area.
Perez said BFAR is also eyeing the market for the increased production of "lato," an edible seaweed species of G. Caulerpa to be introduced as a food commodity.
|The BFAR's F/V Tambakol sailed for Western and Eastern Visayas in January 2014 to distribute seaweed farming implements, including plastic twines, nylon ropes and floaters, to Yolanda-hit seaweed farmers in the said regions.|