IN THE FACE OF ASEAN INTEGRATION Villar asks fishery stakeholders to help each other
DAGUPAN CITY – Senator Cynthia Villar called on fishery stakeholders who, while competitors, to come together because it is their cooperation and helping each other that the industry would succeed in the face of the regional economic integration.
“You need to unite so you would strengthen your competitive edge against the other players from other countries. In that way, Philippine companies will be able to corner a bigger chunk of the market,” Villar told fishery stakeholders from the country.
Villar’s speech was read for her by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ilocos Regional Director Nestor Domenden during the opening of the two-day first national aquaculture summit sponsored by BFAR and the Philippine Association of Fish Producers, Inc. on Thursday.
The senator, the chair of Senate committee on agriculture and food, said the country has so much to offer and a lot of room for further expansion.
“According to BFAR, the Philippines ranked 7th among the top fish-producing countries in the world, with aquaculture production sharing 1.16 percent of the total global aquaculture production. We just have to keep the momentum going,” she said,
Villar also cited the importance of fish farming among the people especially in the rural areas.
“(Fish farming) would give them food and jobs and livelihood. This is why we should all face the issues and barriers that the industry faces so it would move forward,” she said.
She mentioned the concerns, as cited by the industry players themselves, as the development of self-contained aquaculture and market demand-responsive industry, and marketing compliment for stakeholders such as hatcherties, processing and other support facilities.
Villar said aside from being market-oriented to bring about a viable and resilient industry, there is also a need for technological innovations, advanced practices and involvement of all the related sectors and stkeholders to ensure the sustainability of the industry and the global competitivenes of the local players.YOLANDA SOTELO
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