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San Joaquin farmers get livelihood support under CFOS-IA’s “ABANTE” program

San Joaquin farmers get livelihood support under CFOS-IA’s “ABANTE” program

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Another farmer from one of the upland barangays in San Joaquin, a coastal town in southern Iloilo, was happy to be the latest recipient of fingerlings from the Institute of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS-IA), UP Visayas.

Mr. Avelino S. Servidad, 58, married, from Brgy. Cadoldolan, which is around four kilometers away from the town proper, received 1,000 catfish and 200 tilapia fingerlings for his more or less 70 sq. meters farm lot, which he converted into a fish pond. The property is fortunate to have free flowing fresh water, one of the requirements needed for the operation of the fish pond.

A team from CFOS-IA headed by its director Prof. Rex Ferdinand M. Traifalgar, Mr. Fredson Huervana, Prof. Carmelo del Castillo, and Mr. Alan Failman personally delivered and administered the dispersal of the fingerlings on June 9, 2022. 

The initiative is part of the public service activity of CFOS-IA known as Advancing Barangay Aquaculture for the Nation and the Economy (ABANTE) that is primarily aimed to provide technical skills in aquaculture and livelihood to the marginalized sectors of the society in coordination with the concerned local government units. Under the program, the Institute will provide technical assistance, capacity-building training, and fingerlings to the identified farmer-beneficiaries as well as to help identify suitable areas for the project.  

Servidad, a farmer for more than 30 years, was thankful for the opportunity given to him. He said in a local dialect that he can utilize and put to good use the vacant lot and the free flowing fresh water from the spring in his property to earn extra income and to provide food for his family.  

The father of six, however, is hoping that the government could give him financial assistance for the feeds, which he said, entails additional cost. While he is waiting for this to happen, one of Servidad’s children will momentarily support the feeds for the fingerlings.

Traifalgar said the Institute is willing to impart their knowledge in producing cheaper fish meal to help the farmers.

Meanwhile, on May 5, 2022, CFOS-IA distributed 4,500 tilapia fingerlings to Mr. Eduard Siva, a farmer from Brgy. Nadsadan of the said town. 

Mr. Leo G. Satana, municipal administrator of San Joaquin, during a courtesy call of Traifalgar and team last June 9, 2022, expressed the willingness of the local government unit (LGU) to support the program for their farmers.  Satana said that they will do their part in the undertaking to help their farmers especially in the upland barangays. The town has 63 upland and 22 coastal barangays. 

The town’s Office of the Municipal Agriculturist will monitor the implementation of the program and coordinate with CFOS-IA for any problems encountered by the farmers.

Ms. Grezl Cariaga, municipal aquaculturist, said they will be working with CFOS-IA for the training needs of the farmer-beneficiaries for the sustainability of the program and to help more farmers in their municipality.

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