To beef up food security and provide livelihood to residents, the Quezon City government and the Department of Agriculture will turn over urban aquaculture starter kits to 60 identified beneficiaries from Brgy. Bagong Silangan and Payatas today.

Mayor Joy Belmonte, DA Undersecretary for Fisheries Marie Natividad-Caballero and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) National Director Eduardo Gongona will attend the ceremonial turnover and stocking of fingerlings at Pinagbuklod Area 5 in Sitio Veterans.

The project will provide a total of 60 units of filtration system, 10,000 pieces hito and 9,000 pieces tilapia fingerlings including one cycle of feeds that will serve as a starter kit for the beneficiaries, who are mostly hog raisers that lost their livelihood to African swine fever (ASF) in 2019.

“We must put empty pigpens and vacant lots to good use by turning them into fish pens and backyard fishponds where we can grow tilapia and hito,” said Belmonte.

“Through this, we could provide livelihood to our hog raisers who lost their primary source of income because of ASF,” she added.

Belmonte said urban aquaculture will help boost local food supply in the city amid the pandemic.

Under this project, vacant and abandoned pigpens of ASF-affected hog raisers will be converted into fish tanks suitable for tilapia and hito culture.

It will employ recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), which provides and maintains good water quality that is suitable for faster fish growth.

The project is estimated to produce 1.58 metric tons of hito and 1.29 metric tons of tilapia per cycle.