Fishers’ group starts to reap fruits of their labor despite COVID-19 pandemic

Published November 25, 2020, 5:00 PM

by Mike Crismundo

A fisher’s group in Surigao del Sur started to reap fruits of their labor despite the threat brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. As the saying goes, “what you sow is what you reap”.

For the members of the Anunang Gamut Fishermen’s Association (AGFA), life is definitely taking a turn for the better now that they started harvesting from their Bangus Production and Marketing project under the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rural Development (DA-PRDP) Enterprise Component.

The AGFA is a Fisherfolks’ Association from Sitio Anunang, Barangay Gamut, Barobo town, Surigao del Sur.

Association Chairman Manuel Cahilis said that most of the residents in their area here rely on fishing for their livelihood.

However, according to Cahilis, prior to availing the project from the DA-PRDP, the people went on with their fishing activities individually. Because of this, marketing of their Bangus was limited to local buyers since their harvest was just minimal.

Way back in 2011, the AGFA availed of a livelihood project through the Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD) under the Mindanao Rural Development Program.

With their Bangus Production Project, they were granted one loaded fish pen.

However, their supply was still not sufficient to meet the demand for the said fish in the markets. Hence, they applied for an expansion of the said endeavor through the project under the DA-PRDP.

“Now that we have this project, it has really made a big difference, and with the additional fish pens, we have more harvest and we can be sure to meet the demand of our contracted buyer. This also means more income for us members of the association.” Cahilis said.

Members of the Anunang Gamut Farmers’ Association (AGFA) with their freshly harvested bangus in Sitio Anunang, Barangay Gamut, Barobo, Surigao del Sur. (Photo from DA 13-PIO/Mike U. Crismundo)

The Bangus Production and Marketing Project was implemented early this year. The AGFA was granted 2 units of fish pen and was linked with a buyer from Bayugan, Agusan del Sur. A total of 30,000 fingerlings were released on the two fish pens in June of this year.

On November 16, the AGFA had their first harvest from one of the pens and got 2,456 kilos which amounted to P270, 210.

They will be harvesting again once they receive the order from the buyer.

Cahilis said that their Bangus project really made a difference in the lives of the members of AGFA. “Our way of living now is a lot better, thanks to this project,” he added.

DA 13 Regional Spokesperson Emmylou T. Presilda said the agency will continue assisting Caraga fisherfolk and farmers despite of COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the leadership of DA 13 Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo, our agency will continue to help our farmers and fisherfolk, in terms of the agency’s livelihood program,” added the region’s DA 13 spokesperson.

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