Shrimp farming. (Photo: BFAR/YouTube,SEAFDECAQD)
Shrimp industry to get a boost
Thursday, May 10, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
The Department of Agriculture believes the Philippines will catch up with other Asian countries as far as shrimp exports and production by 2015, said DA Assistant Secretary for Fisheries Salvador Salacup.
“We are also trying to penetrate China but we have to be at par with other Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia with our new technologies, equipment, efficiency, modernization, market linkage and good agricultural and fishing practices,” Salacup clarified.
This formula will breed rapid growth, development and revitalization of the shrimp industry, especially if the government and the private sector become strong partners, Salacup said, Daily Star reports.
The DA has also partnered with feed manufacturers to create a well-organised feeding system for shrimp farmers, he said.
Further, feeds will have to undergo testing by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to ensure efficient growth of shrimps and to push production costs down, beneficial especially for small shrimp growers.
Salacup also said DA is working on organic farming methods, particularly for shrimp.
The Philippines is now following a different path, focusing on Penaeus monodon and Penaeus vannamei. The strategy is for the Philippines to produce P. vannamei for the domestic market and the bigger native P. monodon for export.
In 2010, white shrimp farmers supplied the local market with at least 10,000 tonnes of shrimps with demand continuing to grow. Philippine black tiger shrimp is increasingly becoming a high value export niche even as neighbouring countries are finding it more difficult to grow.
With over 160,000 ha of brackish water farms, the economic potential of the shrimp industry as a source of export revenue and as a platform for rural aquaculture development is massive.
As for the local market, the shrimp industry wants to develop it after growth of 5 per cent in output in the last two years. Western Visayas has been the main contributor, according to Roberto Gatuslao, president of the Philippine Shrimp Industry, Inc.
He said shrimp prices are now very low, so it is time they fortify the local market to produce products affordable for Filipinos.
The industry’s growth is also due to being careful in all areas of production, including managing fungus and shrimp diseases, he noted.
In this respect, Drusila Esther Bayate, BFAR Western Visayas director, said that in Region VI, shrimp diseases like white spot syndrome (WSS) virus can be prevented easily.
“There is always the evolution of diseases and now we have the WSS but it is not in an alarming state; and with the advances in the diagnostic analysis and technology of shrimp disease they can be easily managed by the farmers,” Bayate said.
The province has a BFAR-accredited shrimp diagnostic laboratory so Negros shrimp growers can easily address disease problems, she said.
BFAR also has quarantine measures that closely monitor the shipment of shrimp coming in and out of the province.
By Natalia Real