Regional Director Milagros Morales said they will set-up aquaponics project in identified areas to include 10 projects each in Tuguegarao City, Cauayan City, City of Ilagan and Santiago City, four(4) in each Provincial Fisheries Office, and one(1) each at BFAR Regional Office and at Cagayan valley Research Outreach Station for Freshwater Resources.
Aquaponics, she said, is a combined conventional aquaculture and hydroponics.
Morales said the establishment of urban aquaphonics is just one the many lined-up activities on Fisheries Resiliency Projects of the bureau as intervention in the fisheries sector due to COVID-19.
"You can raise fish and grow soilless vegetables at the same time. This technology is best in highly urbanized areas where there are no longer enough space for fishpond and vegetable garden," Morales said.
She said they alloted P1.2 million fund for the projects to be installed in the identified areas.
She said the collaborating Local Government Units shall identify proposed sites and recipients and identified beneficiaries shall operate the project through the regular supervision of the assigned technical staff of the Provincial Fisheries Office of Cagayan and Isabela.
BFAR RO2 technical staff shall provide a regular technical advisory services to ensure the smooth operation of the project.
The Aquaphonics Projects
The pilots unit which was designed by BFAR NFRDI is a vertical aquaphonics to increase culture space without requiring too much space.
According to Morales, the fish tank will be made of fiberglass which is sturdy and heavy-duty that can withstand the pressure from a great amount of water. A grow bed for vegetable will be made of 4 inches diameter PVC pipes positioned in layers on top of the fish tank.
The PVC tubes will be carved with small pockets where plants can grow. The vegetables will be grown without soil. The plants will grow pond filter foam to be placed in the PVC holes to get to the nutrients in the water.
On the other hand, the BFAR here will also establish 32 units fish cages in Small Water Impounding Projects and other potential and freshwater areas regionwide.
Morales also said they also conduct house-to-house technology demonstrations to continue to capacitate the fisherfolk and to boost fish productions, promote aquaculture park project in inland bodies of water, provide fingerlings as input assistance to backyard fishponds and small water impounding projects and create livelihood opportunities to local communities.
The techno-demo projects include fishpond culture, integrated farming and organic farming, Morales added. (MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)
By Oliver T. Baccay