A project to identify Nile tilapia ‘super strains’ in the Philippines will help to increase the living standards of poor fish farmers and consumers, create new employment opportunities and provide food security across the nation.
Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is the most cultured freshwater fish in the Philippines, and the tilapia industry provides valuable income and an affordable source of animal protein for the growing population, including many of the 30 million people that FAO estimates depend on agriculture and fishing for a living.
About to enter its second year, the project entitled “Evaluation of Nile Tilapia Strains for Aquaculture in the Philippines” is lead by WorldFish in partnership with, the Freshwater Aquaculture Center from Central Luzon State University (FAC-CLSU) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center with funding from the Bureau of Agricultural Research.
Dr. Tereso Abella, Director of FAC-CLSU and technical consultant from WorldFish says that identifying the best performing strain in the country will have vast social and economic benefits.
“The goal of the project is to develop and make available the best strain of Nile tilapia for the industry. We want the product of this research project widely disseminated to both large and small-scale tilapia farmers but higher priority will be given to small scale tilapia farmers to improve their production, and the quality of their lives,” he says.
This will help increase aquaculture productivity, generating greater income for small-scale fish farmers, improving their living standards, and helping to increase the availability of Nile Tilapia for poor consumers. It is also expected to contribute to gender equality through the creation of employment opportunities for women.
“Tilapia in the Philippines is the fish of yesterday, the fish of today and the fish of tomorrow. It is the people’s fish because it’s readily available, accessible and affordable to every ordinary Filipino,” adds Dr. Abella.
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