MANABO, Abra – Abrenian fisherfolks will no longer bother to sell their harvests in the public market because the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is buying them for the “Harvest Festival.”
The fisherfolk association here recently hosted another harvest festival in Barangay Banat where more than 20 kilograms of tilapia were caught, grilled, and served in a lunch with their families and some local officials.
The harvest festival supports all Abrenian fisherfolk-beneficiaries under the Special Area Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program, which aims to reduce poverty in marginalized agricultural and fishery sectors.
Gilbert Agustin, who works as a tricycle driver, said managing a fishpond in his extra time allows him to earn extra cash.
“Malaking tulong ito sa akin dahil dagdag sa kinikita ko as tricycle driver, may ulam na rin. Kahit na bago, itutuloy ko pa rin ang fishpond na ‘to para maka-ipon ng konti,” he said.
Agustin thanked the BFAR for purchasing his harvest as recovery support to the effects of the calamity.
His fishpond was one of the severely affected ponds in the province by Typhoon Egay. His pond overflowed, sweeping away some of the fingerlings.
Aside from the harvest purchase, the BFAR also turned over various equipment such as fish nets, weighing scale, and fish crates that will be used by all the members of the fisherfolks association.
Provincial Fishery Officer Janet Daguio assured the BFAR will release another batch of fingerlings for the SAAD program.
“Dapat ngayon, naka-harvest na kayo at may kita na kasi by September, mamimigay na naman kami ng fingerlings sa mga fisherfolk under SAAD,” she said.
Daguio encouraged the fisherfolk to sustain and manage the fingerlings to generate additional income during their harvest time. – Christian Allister Tubadeza