MANILA –The government is working vigorously to alleviatepoverty and promote inclusive growth in the fisheries sector.
Melanie Guerra,officer-in-charge of the Fisheries Policy and Economics Division (FPED) of theDepartment of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR),said her agency implemented various livelihood development programs, projectsand initiatives.
Guerra, during the fish talksforum series on Tuesday, said it provided the fisherfolk appropriate inputs orassistance, capacity building and shared infrastructure support, andfacilitated market linkages in the domestic and export markets.
She noted that under theTargeted Actions to Reduce poverty and Generate Economic Transformation(TARGET) program, livelihood interventions would no longer be given on apiece-meal or stand-alone basis.
“The type of intervention shallbe matched with the type of available resources and its carrying capacity,”Guerra said. “Thus prior to the award of any inputs, profiling of the resourcesand the beneficiary shall be undertaken by the FLDTs (field livelihooddevelopment technicians).”
FLDTs were deployed in coastalmunicipalities with high concentration of fisherfolk and high incidence ofpoverty.
Each FLDT regularly visits andmonitors at least 75 fisherfolk beneficiaries that are registered under theFisherfolk Registry.
Such registry was cross-matchedwith the data of Department of Social Welfare and Development’s NationalHousehold Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and then Departmentof Budget and Management (DBM)’s Registry System for Basic Sector inAgriculture (RSBSA) to ensure that the poorest among the poor are prioritized.
“This strategy is seen tosignificantly reduce the incidence of poverty among fisherfolk to at least 10percent while at the same time maximize production and improve fishsufficiency,” added Guerra.
She further said BFAR shouldalso provide training and/or capacitate fisherfolk beneficiaries for skills andthe local government unit (LGU) for responsible resource governance.
Guerra said interventions forpost-harvest, such as provision of Community Fish landing Center, smokehouse,seaweed/fish driers, and marketing, should also be provided to beneficiarycommunities to ensure product linkage with the markets.
She noted the 2016-2020Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan (CNFIDP) targets toincrease aquaculture production in the country over the next five years.
“Production increase of 14.4percent from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2020 is expected to come fromaquaculture interventions particularly on seaweeds, shellfish, food fishes andother high-value species…,” Guerra said.
Moreover, the BFAR official saidit worked also for hike in quantity and value of traded fish and fisheryproducts for domestic and export markets.
She noted the Plan aims toreduce by 10 percent the post-harvest losses which accounts to more than 25percent of total production.
“Improving on quality andreducing wastage would improve the value of fish. Moreover, compliance tointernational standards could also bring in more revenue from products exportedto major international markets,” she added.
Guerra further said effortswould be undertaken to improve regions that were less than 70 percent food fishsufficient, namely Cordillera Autonomous Region, Autonomous Region in MuslimMindanao, National Capital Region and Regions 2, 4A, 8, 9 and 11.
The CNFIDP is implemented by theBFAR with the involvement of the different sectors with the fisheries industry,local government units, non-government organizations, research institutions,academe and other partner agencies.
Its formulation was mandated bythe Republic Act (RA) 10654, which amended the Fisheries Code of 1998. (PNA)