Piñol tells Seafood City: We will turn around Tilapia industry in one-year
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol is tapping the help of Fil-Ams to turn-around the local Tilapia industry.
Piñol met with owners of a Seafood City outlet in California and Aquafarming Tech who see several ways of improving yield in the local aquaculture industry.
Seafood City owner William Go said Filipinos in the US prefer to buy Tilapia and Bangus from the Philippines but much of the Tilapia they sell are from Taiwan because the Philippines cannot supply their demand.
Piñol also invited Rocky French who runs the Aquafarming Tech in California for visits in Tilapia and Bangus hatcheries in Oriental Mindoro and Nueva Ecija.
French runs a 40-acre Tilapia farm in the middle of the desert in Coachella Valley in Southern California.
The farm pumps out water from 1,000 feet below and has to contend with the region’s cold winters and hot summers.
In spite of the hurdles, Piñol said AquaFarming Tech is one of the most successful and profitable fish farms in the US.
According to Piñol, French was dismayed by what he saw in the local Tilapia and Bangus farms.
“French, the Filipino blood in him prevailing, has promised to share his knowledge and experience to rehabilitate the Philippine Tilapia Industry,” Piñol said.
The DA will be sending workers from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources to California for a one-month exposure and training with AquaFarming Tech.
The DA also directed the BFAR to provide funding for the improvement of hatchery facilities and to purchase modern laboratory equipment.
“Our time table for the turn-around of the Philippine Tilapia industry is one year,” Piñol said. “By that time, we will start our effort to earn the status of being one of the world’s top Tilapia producers.”