CEBU CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR-7) has shelled out nearly PHP80 million to implement projects for the region’s fishing communities in the last three years.
BFAR -7 reported on Monday that from 2017 to 2019, it had allocated PHP79.1 million worth of fishery projects and livelihood interventions to 157 fisherfolk organizations and 2,372 individuals in the region. More than PHP15 million was allotted in 2017; PHP27 million in 2018; and PHP37 million in 2019.
These projects were implemented under the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) program.
BFAR-7 has implemented at least 61 projects in the provinces of Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor that include aquaculture, capture fisheries, and post-harvest technology projects.
SAAD projects were first rolled out in Negros Oriental in 2017; Siquijor had its turn in 2018 followed by Bohol in 2019.
Different projects were established in these provinces, pond culture projects for aquaculture, marine fish cages, freshwater fish farms, seaweed culture, and shellfish culture.
Under the capture fisheries sector, beneficiaries received fishing gears, gill nets, fish corrals, and fiberglass boats with marine engines, among other fishing materials.
Post-harvest technologies were also distributed such as fish processing equipment, stainless table, value-adding materials and ice-making machine.
BFAR-7 regional director Allan Poquita said SAAD follows a different and unique approach in providing assistance to farmers and fisherfolk.
It is implemented on a three-year period wherein the progress of the projects gradually advances in the succeeding years, he noted.
In the first year, the beneficiaries are provided individually with projects that help augment their livelihood. In the second year, fisherfolks are formed into organizations and are immersed in skills development training. In the third year, they are capacitated in handling fishery enterprises that they will have to manage independently on their own.
BFAR, through the SAAD program, aims to empower fisherfolks by providing them better opportunities in improving their livelihood and increasing their income, hoping to alleviate the poverty status among stakeholders in the fishery sector. (PNA)