(From left) Leonardo David of David’s Farm in Balanga City gets consultancy advice from Sattra Sinasathit of Charoen Pokphand Group, a multinational company investing in animal feed, together with Connie Sanico of DTI-Bataan in this contributed photo. (Jose Mari M. Garcia/PIA 3, Bataan)
Tapping the world's biggest manufacturer of animal feed to enrich the province’s fisheries, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Bataan teamed up with Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group to tender expert aid to local fishermen.
A technical team led by CP Group expert Sattra Sinasathit visited recently two fishpond operators in the province, the Matias Farm in Pilar town and David Farm in Balanga City, to conduct initial assessment and consultancy services on their Pangasius fish industry.
The team will also extend educational training to interested Pangasius growers in the province in a bid to create more efficient and productive operational fishponds.
“The two operators were more than happy for the assistance provided and were inspired all the more to improve their craft. For the development of the Pangasius industry of Bataan, Mr. Sinasathit promised to give his full support and provide whatever assistance the industry needs from them,” said Tess Magtanong, trade and industry development specialist of DTI-Bataan.
DTI has been encouraging the aquaculture sector to invest in Pangasius propagation because the fish has been proven to be a good raw material in the processing of value-added products like bacon, fish ball, fish cakes, sausage, hotdog, tocino, chicharon, and patties, among others.
According to DTI Undersecretary Merly Cruz, Pangasius is considered the third most important fresh water fish as it can be grown locally and can be cultured in all sizes of habitat, from backyard to large scale.
“We intend to reduce the importation [of the fish], thus, we embarked on the Pangasius project purposely to also address the food security program of the government and to provide doable work programs and fundable livelihood projects to targeted income groups,” Cruz said.
With the assistance of CP Group, the propagation of the fresh water fish in Bataan has seen new hope given the multinational conglomerate’s resources. It has recently built a P2.8 billion aqua feed company in Samal town, employing hundreds of local people and bringing in millions of pesos in income to the locality.