DA to establish ice-making facilities across 91 fishing grounds
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Department of Agriculture will attempt to stop the loss of about 40 percent of the country’s daily fish catch by establishing ice-making facilities in 91 fishing grounds all over the country by the end of the Closed Fishing Season in March 2019.
The move, according to him, will be funded by the Agricultural Credit Police Council (ACPC), a credit agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
It will be under the Agriculture and Fisheries Machinery and Equipment (AFME) Loaning Program, which will amount to P282.5 million.
Under the AFME Loaning Program, which is a new credit program of ACPC, farmers’ and fishermen’s associations and cooperatives could avail of loans at 2 percent interest per year payable in eight years.
The AFME Loaning Program covers farm equipment, processing facilities, post harvest facilities and machinery which would give agricultural products higher value.
Piñol said among the biggest fishing grounds that will first get the ice-making facilities are Aparri, Cagayan; Sta. Ana, Cagayan; Masinloc, Zambales; Dingalan, Aurora; Dinahican, Infanta, Quezon; Estancia, Ililo; Sagay City, Negros Occidental; Sipalay City, Negros Occidental; Ubay, Bohol; Pasil, Cebu City; among others.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) identified these areas and have already organized fishermen’s groups, the DA chief said.
“All other areas interested in acquiring these ice-making facilities are advised to coordinate with the nearest BFAR office in your area,” Piñol said.