BESAO, Mountain Province – Sitio Dandanac in Tamboan, Besao hosted the annual celebration of the Loach Harvest Field Day on September 9, 2023.
The celebration was a joint undertaking of the Mountain Province (MP) office of the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the provincial government through its Provincial Agriculture Office (PAgO), the Municipal Agriculture Office of Besao, and the MP Farmers Fisherfolks and Loach Throng (MPFFLT).
According to Provincial Fishery Officer Designate Martha B. Estima, the celebration of the Loach Harvest Field Day kicked off last 2020 in Cagubatan, Tadian. Year after, in 2021, the second Loach Harvest Field Day was held in Bantey, Tadian. She said that the celebration is in line with the DA-BFAR’s project that aims to revive the production of loaches. In MP, the project was given to the MPFFLT under the supervision of the DA-BFAR-MP.
In addition, Estima said that engaging in loach production is an ideal business/livelihood for fisherfolks as aside from it being easily bought in the market, it generates greater income as it costs more compared to other fish commodities, they easily reproduce as long as they are well taken care of, and loach producers do not have to spend much money on fish foods as loaches are known to be omnivorous bottom-feeders.
“Nu ag taraken ti kaling (loach) ket haan kailangan nga mapan ka paylang guma-gumatang ti feeds nga kanen da. Kailangan lang dita ket anus ken gaget,” MPFFLT President Rex Alen T. Cadio said in addition to Estima’s message.
Moreover, Besao Vice Mayor Elizabeth Buyagan highlighted that the loach production in Dandanac has caused a great contribution to the livelihood development of the members of the MPFFLT and women empowerment for the women members of the organization.
Meanwhile, Provincial Agriculturist Dominga A. Cabatu relayed Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr.’s congratulations to the MPFFLT members for making the BFAR’s loach revival project productive. She said that the provincial government thru its PAgO and its partnership with other agencies like the DA and others is and will always be supportive to the MP farmers and fisherfolks.
“Nu in case man ay kailangan yu nan tulong or assistance, open nan agriculture office tako or mabalin kayo in diritcho id office na si Governor. Nu adi kayu maka ali id office tay adayu nan nay barangay yu, mabalin metlang ay ibaga tako nan concerns taku iska Municipal Agriculture Office yu sina Besao et daida tun nan mang contact ken dakami (In case you need support or assistance, the agriculture office is open or you can go directly to the Office of the Governor. If it is not possible because your barangay is far, you can also tell your concerns to the Besao iska Municipal Agriculture Office and it will be the one to contact us) ,” Cabatu said.
The harvested loaches will be on display during the Agro-Trade Fair which will be held in Bontoc on September 11-16 (Monday -Saturday) in celebration of the municipality’s 19th Am-among Festival and 115th Founding Anniversary.
Another highlight of the celebration is the turnover of the water pump with complete accessories which was funded by the Cordillera office of the DA and the vegetable and fruit seedlings funded under the Barangay Muna Program of the administration in support of the Plant Plant Plant Program of the DA.
Also present during the celebration were Councilors Osias E. Degyawi and Marcos Mangalay, Kagawad Annie G. Tilagen, Besao Mun. Agriculturist Dam-ay B. Guinayen, MPFFLT – Pamsatan President Tony Sumingwa, and other members of the MPFFLT. By MP Press Release