Hog growers in Barangay Bagong Silangan in Quezon City were encouraged to venture to urban aquaculture after taking the hit from the impacts of African Swine Fever (ASF).
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) introduced urban aquaculture as alternative livelihood to ASF-affected hog growers in the village last February 19.
The urban aquaculture project, a part of the key strategies under the OneDA approach, is devised to stimulate agro-fisheries productivity in the cities by converting vacant lots or structures into food production areas, such as vegetable gardens, aquaponics, and fish tanks or backyard fishponds.
“The urban aquaculture project is not only a means for ASF-affected hog growers to acquire alternative livelihood and additional income but also an effort to ensure continuous local food supply in highly urbanized cities like Quezon City during this pandemic,” Undersecretary for Agri-Industrialization and for Fisheries Cheryl Natividad-Caballero said.
Around 10,000 pieces of hito and 9,000 pieces of tilapia fingerlings will be distributed to 60 identified ASF-affected hog raisers in Barangay Bagong Silangan and Payatas whose deserted pigpens have been converted into fish tanks suitable for fish culture.
The fish tanks will be stocked with fingerlings and will be equipped with a recirculating aquaculture system to filter out waste and provide more dissolved oxygen in the water in order to maintain the water’s good quality essential to the health and growth of the fish.
Beneficiaries will also receive filtration system units and commercial feeds that would last a cycle of feeding of three to four months. For one cycle, the urban aquaculture project is estimated to produce 1.58 metric tons of hito and 1.29 metric tons of tilapia.