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Pangasius farming eyed in Penal Colonies

Published on - Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is eyeing to increase the production of the Pangasius Fish by engaging the penal colonies in pangasius farming.


In a recent meeting, DTI presented a proposal on Pangasius Production in Penitentiaries to the officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) headed by Officer-in-Charge Rafael Marcos Ragos.


DTI Assistant Regional Director Doris Delima, the National Coordinator of Pangasius Project said that the proposed project would benefit the inmates by providing them a source of income as well as boost the pangasius production in the country.


We are targeting to gradually replace our Pangasius fish import with the products coming from our local farmers,” Delima said. 


At present, the Philippines’ monthly imports of pangasius, commonly known as cream dory reach about 600 metric tons, valued at USD 1.65M. Most of the pangasius imports come from Vietnam.


In response to the proposal, Deputy Director Ragos said that the project can be established in its penal colonies located in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro and Iwahig, Palawan where they have existing fishponds for fish farming.


Aside from the land resources, Director Ragos added that the inmates in the two penal colonies can work for the fish farming. Ragos meanwhile noted that the BuCor cannot avail of the processing equipment, but instead sought the DTI’s help to find for a prospective investor to put up facilities.

We would like to do it in a public-private partnership approach. We want to partner with an investor who will provide the equipment and look for a potential market for pangasius,” Ragos said.


Currently, the Bureau of Corrections, through its Davao Penal Colony had partnered with the Tagum Agricultural Development Company in operating banana plantation farm in Davao.


During the discussion, the two parties planned to conduct a pilot project testing in the National Bilibid Prisons in the first quarter of 2013, with the BFAR to provide the technical training for inmates, technology transfer, and initial supply of fingerlings. The DTI, on the other hand, will look for an investor who will put up a processing plant or a buyer/processor for the harvested pangasius.