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Culture for a cause: Cynthia Villar pushes for aquaculture development

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Senator Cynthia Villar believes that “aquaculture is the future” of food security.

She called for more people involvement in the rapidly growing fish farming industry as she underscores the significant role it will play in the country’s long-term food security goals.

“It will feed us, especially kapag nagkatotoo ang warning ng experts na by 2050 ay baka ‘virtual deserts’ na ang ating mga oceans,” Villar said on Wednesday.

“In the years ahead, lalo pang lalaki ang share ng aquaculture o fish farming sa fish production,” the senator said.

She urged fisherfolks, farm owners and enthusiasts, and cooperative members to take advantage of the “budding enterprise.”

She noted that the country’s aquaculture production is now estimated to be worth over $1.58 billion.

“Napakalaki talaga ng potensyal ng pag-nenegosyo at pagiging involved sa aquaculture,” Villar said.

She made the remarks at the closing of a 10-day training program on freshwater aquaculture sponsored by the Villar SIPAG in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, which was held at the Vintahanan floating village in Muntinlupa.

“Very timely ang kaalaman na natutunan ninyo sa aquaculture,” said Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food.

“I hope what you have learned in terms of new strategies, skills and systems through hands-on training will help improve your way of life by providing you with another source of income,” she said.

She hopes that it will help farm owners and other farming enthusiasts to expand their businesses.

Aside from basic freshwater aquaculture, the 30 participants from the Calabarzon and National Capital Region also had hands-on training Post-Harvest techniques, Ornamental Fish Production, Aquaponics, and Basic Aquascaping.

“Mga kapaki-pakinabang ang mga kaalaman na itinuro sa inyo, lalong-lalo na in terms of technological innovation and technical expertise,” Villar said.

“Malaki ang maitutulong ng mga iyan sa inyo kung inyong i-aapply at gagamitin ng maayos,” she said.

The Vinatahan floating village, which is venue for the training program, was conceptualized in July 2015.

The floating houses are designed to float when floodwaters rise.