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Davao City, Philippines

DavOr to host 1st Aqua-fisheries Summit in Aug

July 29, 2020 - Wednesday 5:07 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Emmanuel Piñol. (PNA file photo)

DAVAO CITY – The Mindanao "Aqua and Fisheries Modernization Program" is set to take off next month with the staging of the first stakeholder's summit in Mati City, Davao Oriental.

Organized by the Davao Oriental provincial government, which has been identified as a major fish production area in Mindanao, the August 27 event is supported by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

Other government agencies like the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Philippine Fishports Development Authority (PFDA), both under the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Southeast Asia Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) will also participate, said MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

In a statement on Wednesday, Piñol said MinDA has earlier crafted the Mindanao Aqua-Fisheries Development Program (MAFDEV) to maximize productivity in the fisheries sector of the region, reduce poverty in the fisheries sector, and propel Mindanao's economic recovery post-coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

He said the program is one of the priority projects submitted by MinDA to the European Union Delegation for inclusion in the PHP2.1 billion Mindanao Peace and Development (MINPAD) Rise Mindanao Grant Fund.

The MAFDEV aims to organize and empower aqua and fisheries stakeholders and establish fish processing facilities in the selected fish production areas in Mindanao.

 Piñol said the projects include ice flakes and blocks-making equipment, blast freezing machinery, cold storage and processing facilities such as fish drying equipment.

To ensure profitability for the stakeholders, Piñol said the project also aims to establish a digital platform to determine the supply and demand situation for aqua and fisheries products in Mindanao, and establish domestic and foreign market linkages.

Beneficiaries of the program will also include a fish pond and fish cage operators in the different coastal areas and coves of Mindanao. With the recent approval of the EU Delegation Grant Fund for Mindanao by the Department of Finance, MAFDEV is expected to be implemented before the end of the year.

“Public and private academic institutions will also be asked to support the program, especially in the social preparation and financial capability training of the organized aqua and fisheries stakeholders,” the MinDA chief said.

In Mati City, Piñol said a five-hectare modern fish port worth PHP150 million would soon rise in Purok Calagundian Madang, Barangay Central.

Mati City Information Officer Ben Jason Tesiorna said the PFDA is "seriously considering" to fund the project, to be divided into two PHP75 million multi-year implementation.

Top officials of the PFDA paid a courtesy call to Mayor Michelle Rabat Tuesday to discuss the proposed project, he said.

Tesiorna said that PFDA is considering to fund the proposed fish port on 2021-2022 to strengthen the fish supply in Mindanao along with General Santos City and this city as mother ports in Davao Region, together with Malalag, Panabo, Mati and Tagum.

“PFDA strongly encouraged Mayor Rabat to allow the participation of the private sector in the development of the fish port such as food processing, packing, and canning to ensure food security,” he said.

Rabat said the proposed fish port would be a big help to the local fisherfolk as Mati City has no proper storage for marine products. Prexx Marnie Kate Trozo