USSEC Conducts Aquaculture Forum in Philippines
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) conducted a two day seminar in the Philippine municipalities of Anda and Bolinao, Pangasinan on September 25 and 26, 2014 targeting milkfish cage technicians, farmers, investors and local government units with the objective of sharing USSEC’s Low Volume High Density (LVHD) cage aquaculture technology along with the latest technologies and benefits of using extruded floating feeds in milkfish cage aquaculture in the Philippines and Southeast Asia (SEA). 67 participants representing milkfish cage technicians, farmers, investors and staff of local government units from Anda and Bolinao along with feedmill representatives attended the two-day forum. The seminar helped participants gain information on how to improve farmers’ production efficiency, transition to sustainable cage farming with the use of extruded floating feeds, proper feed and water quality management, profitability and the lowering of milkfish feed conversion ratio (FCR) in milkfish cage aquaculture. Milkfish farmers adopting technology and management practices discussed in the seminar will measure long-term success. Unless this particular market segment of the market is taught how to be sustainable, local farmers may underperform, dampening the growth of soybean meal (SBM) consumption in the area. Milkfish (Chanos chanos) is the most important fish species in the Philippines with an annual production of 401,070 metric tons (MT) in 2013. The province of Pangasinan produced about 100,682 MT in 2013, or about 25.1 percent of the Philippines’ total milkfish production, with an estimated feed requirement of 241,636 MT and estimated SBM usage of about 91,824 MT. In 2014, Pangasinan’s milkfish production rose to about 114,358 MT with an estimated feed requirement of 274,459 MT and estimated SBM usage of about 104,294 MT. Estimated SBM inclusion rate is at 38 percent. From 2002 to 2013, production of milkfish from aquaculture grew at an average rate of 3.62 percent. USSEC’s current aquaculture program in the Philippines is aimed at setting the foundation for a more sustainable and quality-oriented production base.