(Photo courtesy of BFAR Usec. Caballero via PNA)

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is encouraging investors to venture into large-scale production in aquaculture in support of the Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan (CNFIDP), a five-year comprehensive framework for promoting the optimal development and long-term sustainability of the fisheries sector.

The CNFIDP for 2021-2025 includes a 10-percent reduction in post-harvest losses within five years and an 80-percent compliance with hygiene and sanitation standards of all fish processing establishments in the Philippines.

“For large-scale aquaculture, the attractiveness of local production and private sector investments are better compared to rice, given higher returns and you can do value-adding in fisheries like export,” DA Undersecretary for Agri-Industrialization and Fisheries Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero told the Philippine News Agency on Friday.

Caballero said a favorable ecosystem is a must to allow local businesses to thrive and become more efficient and competitive globally.

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“There should be market-driven, more efficient, and technology-driven private sector investment,” she added.

Currently, the fisheries sector contributes about 18 percent to the Gross Domestic Product in agriculture, according to DA data.

The trade and marketing subsector agreed to prioritize interventions, such as market linking, capability development, and improving access to credit, the CNFIDP states.

DA Secretary William Dar previously said they have requested the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines to provide commercial fishing operators a credit window that will enable them to replace old vessels. (PNA)

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