PHILIPPINES.- Delegates at an Expert Forum on Organic Aquaculture advocated that tilapia, shrimps, milkfish and other aquaculture products in Negros Occidental will reach maximum growth if produced under environmental-friendly conditions with no pesticides and toxins, a press release from the forum organizers said.
Participants discussed the difference between the conventional aquaculture and organic aquaculture, the latter employing an overall farm management system and food production that focuses on best environmental practices.
Organic aquaculture also has a high level of biodiversity and contributes to the preservation of natural resources, the press release said.
The delegates agreed that organically produced goods are given a certification of quality standard which guarantees stable export prices and job security for local farmers.
They pointed out that conventional aquaculture forced to compete its products by quantity to local markets has to use fertilizers and pesticides containing toxins and non-biodegradable matters as well as supplemental feeds containing ingredients from genetically modified organisms to maximize product’s growth.
In a survey covering the period October 2007 until February 2008 conducted by OPA in collaboration with the German Development Service, pond managers and operators interviewed said most of their goods are still locally marketed with prawn farmers exporting their products mainly to the U.S. and Japan, the press released said.
Survey result showed 24 percent of the farms can actually start the certification process by tapping links with foreign agencies.
The forum, held at the Governor’s Hall at the Capitol Building, was participated by representatives from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Aquaculture Department, the Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Foundation and German consultant experts from the Society for Technical Cooperation and the German Development Service.