LAOAG CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Friday awarded various projects worth more than PHP16 million to boost the livelihood of salt makers and fisherfolk in the province.
Vanessa Abegail Dagdagan, senior aquaculturist at the BFAR, said the assistance included materials for salt production, storage, packaging, and labeling, as well as capacity building and nutritional analysis. Some of the projects were turned over to 216 salt producers on Friday at the Regional Freshwater Aquaculture Technology Demonstration Center(RFATDeC) of the BFAR in Paoay town, Ilocos Norte province.
On the same day, four associations and 16 registered individual fisherfolk of salt and fish production enhancement projects also received fishing gear and paraphernalia such as “lambaklad” and hook and line gear.
“This is funded under the Bayanihan 1 and 2 programs for a total of PHP16,706,165.05 to help salt makers and fisherfolk in the towns of Burgos, Pasuquin, Vintar, Badoc, Currimao and Pinili,” said BFAR regional director Rosario Segundina Gaerlan.
Tilapia fingerlings for dispersal to communal bodies of water were also given to the different local government units to boost the aquaculture program of the province.
Under Republic Act 8172, or the Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide (ASIN) Law, concerned national government agencies are required to identify suitable areas for use as salt farms to protect the areas from environmental risks and ensure the sustainability of iodized salt production.
Prior to the awarding of the salt iodizing machine, the beneficiaries underwent hands-on training on how to use and maintain it.
In her message, Gaerlan reiterated the importance of iodine for animal and human consumption to eliminate micronutrient malnutrition in the country. (PNA)