The tilapia extra challenge!

The tilapia extra challenge!


Basilio “Jiji” Rodriguez, Jr., president of the three-year- old Philippine Tilapia, Inc. (PTI) says that just like any other maturing agricultural enterprise, the whole tilapia industry is at crossroads. “If we don’t get our act together, the industry can continue to be the way it is but it will not grow or it may go the chicken industry route which seems to be going nowhere.”

Since its inception, PTI, together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), has aimed to launch a tilapia master plan or a road map for the continuous development of the industry. By 2010, the industry is targeting an annual production of 250,000 MT (as compared to 2004’s 145,000 MT) and annual exports of 50,000 MT. Experts and observers say those are ambitious but realizable targets and could only be achieved if the challenges facing the tilapia industry are properly addressed.

After enjoying years of heady growth, there is a current glut of tilapia in the market. And with only Manila absorbing a majority of the supply of tilapia coming from Central and Southern Luzon, tilapia farmers have started to complain about the unstable prices of their produce, the escalating cost of feeds and other farm inputs and the limited availability of credit.

“Tilapia has now dethroned galunggong in the market,” says James Aso, marketing manager of HOC P0 feeds, a Filipino-owned company with Taiwanese stockholders. “This happens because of the enormous supply of tilapia and there’s basically just the Manila market to cater to, so prices remain low.”

In the year 2000, records show the Philippines ranked number four in terms of tilapia production. China tops the list producing six or more times the total tilapia Philippine production. This was followed by Egypt and Mexico. “We have to bear in mind that tilapia has been an increasingly popular product,” explains Rodriguez, “many countries have expanded their production very aggressively so I wouldn’t really know if we’re still number four. But we’re probably still on the top list.” Continue reading “The tilapia extra challenge!”

Tilapia king of Nueva Ecija

Magno Velayo:

Tilapia king of Nueva Ecija

By: Lito R.Cruz





TEN YEARS AGO, farmer businessman Ma gno Velayo of Gapan tried his hand in fish farming. He had money to invest and unbounded enthusiasm. Know-how in fish culture he had none at all. Consequently, the business failed and lost P 60,000.


Fortunately, he had other sources of income. Velayo,who only reached the sixth grade but who has risen to become one of Gapan’s most prominent and affluent residents, has large rice farms in several barrios has his family owns a rice mill.


Two years ago, enticed by a priest-fishfarmer in a neighboring town, he decided to raise tilapia again. This time, he sought advice of fisheries experts at the Central Luzon State University in Muñoz.


He succeeded far beyond his – snd everybody’s – expectations. Today, the 52-year –old fishfarmer bids fair to become the nation’s crowned “tilapia king.” In Nueva Ecija, he has no rival. Continue reading “Tilapia king of Nueva Ecija”

Raising Tilapia in Your Backyard-Part 2

Raising Tilapia in Your Backyard

The Davao-based Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center Foundation gives these timely and relevant tips on growing tilapia.

By: Henrylito D. Tacio


Stocking the pondBefore stocking the pond with tilapia, be sure to drain it thoroughly and remove the weeds and unwanted fish that may be present. Allow your pond to dry up until it cracks before refilling with fresh, clean water. Fertilize the pond one week before stocking.Stock the pond either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the water temperature is low in order to avoid weakening of the fish. Allow the water in the pond to mix gradually with the water in the fish container before putting the fish into the pond.Care and maintenance

  •          Feed daily during morning and afternoon at one portion of the pond. Supplement feeds with fine rice bran, bread crumbs, earthworms, termites and others at an initial rate of 5% of the total body weight of the fish.
  •          Maintain the natural fish food by adding more fertilizer. Place chicken droppings in sacks and suspend in the water at every corner of the pond. Put 2.5 kg of chicken manure per bag.
  •          Maintain a water level depth of 1-1.5 meters. Gradually remove excess fingerlings after the third month of stocking. Retain six fingerlings per square meter. (As another source of income, you can sell those excess fingerlings to other farmers in the area.)
  •          Plant “kangkong” and “gabi” at one portion to provide shade for the fish during hot weather and to serve as growing media for natural fish food. Water lily also provides shade. However, do not totally cover the pond with plants as this will interfere with the natural food production process.
  •          Prevent seepages and leakages by patching them with mud. Clear the pond dikes of weeds.
  •          Check the gates occasionally to prevent entry of other fish species and avoid loss of stock. If your home lot is easily flooded, place stones around the top of dikes to prevent the escape of fish if the water overflows.
  •          Find ways to keep the mudfish (“haluan”) out of your tilapia pond. The mudfish is a ferocious predator of tilapia fingerlings and even larger fish.
  •          Plant more trees within the sources of water to maintain the flow. Protect the riverbeds from toxic waste water and pesticides and avoid dumping of garbage.
  •          Plant trees and grasses near the dike to avoid erosion.

HarvestingYou can harvest tilapia by using dip net or a lift net. Lower the net down to the bottom of the pond and spread a small amount of feed on the water just above the net. Lift the net as fast as possible to prevent the escape of the tilapia. After harvesting, stock the pond again.Integrated farmingResearch at the MBRLC shows that you can make your fishpond more productive and profitable by raising a pig at the site of the pond. Pig wastes go directly to the pond and help to fertilize the tiny plants that serve as the tilapia’s main food. Tests have proven that tilapia cultured in this kind of pond can be eaten without any harmful effect. Many farmers in Mindanao have already adopted this technology in their own fishponds.Uses of tilapiaTilapia is a good quality food and has a firm and delicious flesh. Unlike milkfish (“bangus”), it has few fine bones.Tilapia is suitable also for processing into dried, salted-dried, smoked or pickled products. It is a good insect and worm predator and is known to help clean many injurious insects from ponds. To certain extent, tilapia can help in keeping down the number of mosquito larvae, thus preventing them from developing into troublesome and harmful mosquitoes. source:Marid agribusiness, July 2007 

Raising Tilapia in Your Backyard-Part 1

Raising Tilapia in Your Backyard

The Davao-based Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center Foundation gives these timely and relevant tips on growing tilapia.

By: Henrylito D. Tacio

Tilapia is now widely distributed around the world.

It has become the mainstay of small-scale aquaculture projects of poor fish farmers in the developing world. According to Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III, the executive director of the Laguna-based Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development (PCAMRD), tilapia is now cultured in more than 70 countries.

Fishery experts have dubbed tilapia as “aquatic chicken” because it possesses many positive attributes that suit the fish for a varied range of aquaculture systems. For one, tilapia tolerates a wide range of aquaculture systems. For one, tilapia tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions and is highly resistant to disease and parasitic infections.

Other good traits of tilapia include excellent growth rates on a low-protein diet, ready breeding in captivity and ease of handling; and, more importantly, wide acceptance as food fish.

Next to milkfish (more popularly known as “bangus”), tilapias are among the widely cultured species in the Philippines. The culture of tilapia in freshwater ponds and cages has been a commercial success.

Currently, there are an estimated 15,000 hectares of freshwater ponds and 500 hectares of cages in lakes in lakes and reservoirs producing over 50,000 metric tons of tilapia.

Tilapia was first introduced into the country in the 1950’s. Today, there are four species raised in the country: Oreochromis niloticus, O. mossambicus, O. aureus, and Tilapia zillii.

Business Opportunities

The Philippines now ranks fourth among the top ten large tilapia producers in the world – after China, Egypt and Thailand. Other top producing countries, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), are Indonesia, Uganda Mexico, Tanzania, Kenya, and Sri Lanka.

Tilapia production grew by 5 percent during the last 14 years, noted the industry strategic plan for tilapia. This served as a major determinant in the gross supply of tilapia in the country. Tilapia surplus stood around 2,000 to 5,000 metric tons during the same period. At 2020, the surplus is expected to reach around 10,000 metric tons.

Tilapia products – fresh and frozen fillets, whole and gutted fish-have become commodities in the international seafood trade. However, the Philippines cannot supply the international market with frozen whole fish since our price is much higher than those coming from Thailand and Taiwan.

Here are some tips from the Davao-based Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) Foundation Inc.:

Site selection

Select a site where water is accessible throughout the year. It should be well exposed to sunlight, which hastens the growth and multiplication of small aquatic plants called algae (“lumot”), which serve as food for the tilapia. More important, it should not be flooded during rainy season.

Pond preparation

The size of the pond should be determined by the number of fish you want to raise. A good guide is 2-3 mature fish per square meter of water surface. The depth of the pond should be one meter with water not less than three-fourths meter deep. Manage the water so that it will not flow continuously through the pond.

To ensure that no fish will escape, fine-meshed bamboo or fence should screen ponds that have waterways connecting them to canals or outside water. Both the inside and outside end of each waterway should be screened. Use big bamboos for inlets and outlets for small ponds.

Pond fertilization

Since the pond is newly constructed, you have to apply fertilizer. Do this one week before the stocking. Apply chicken manure on the pond bottom with water depth of about 6 centimeters at the rate of one kilo for every 10 square meters. Fertilize the pond once a month to ensure good production of algae. You can either use commercial fertilizer or organic matter like manure, compost, ipil-ipil leaves, etc. If you do not have organic matter, apply every month one-half kilo of urea and one-half kilo of 15-15-15 for every 100 square meters of water surface.

Securing fish fingerlings

Obtain your first supply of young tilapia from any reliable fishpond owner. One source of tilapia fingerlings is the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) Foundation Inc. in Kinuskusan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. If fingerlings are unavailable, you need about 20-30 pairs of good breeders to star reproducing in your tilapia pond of 10×20 feet. If fingerlings are available, you will need to plan on about 5 to 6fingerlings per square meter of water surface area. The most common breeds of tilapia available are: Nilotica, Mozambique, and GIF (genetically modified).

Source: Marid Agribusiness, July 2007