A Fisheries School-on-the-Air cum Training on Tilapia Culture and Processing was conducted on February 24 by the PCAMRD to promote the culture and processing of tilapia and assess the effectiveness of the FSA cum training program being implemented by the Council. Dubbed "Awareness and Training on the Culture and Processing of Tilapia", the activity was held at the Regional Freshwater Fisheries Center in Brgy. Fabrica, Bula, Camarines Sur, a training center of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional Office No. 5, PAMRD's co-spondor in the activity.
Of the 87 training participants,/respondents, more than half (69%) were male. All except one came from Albay, the rest were residents of the different towns of Camarines Sur. The mean age of the respondents was 48 years old with 83% having a family of his own. On the average, the married respondents had seven children of which 52% were still studying; 33% were were already working; and 13% were still supporting their respective families. In terms of the respondents' educational attainment, 18% were college graduates, 25% were college undergraduates; 25% were high school graduates; and 11% finished primary school.
Majority of the respondents has their own house and had acquired furniture. Thirty-six per cent (36%) depended on farming as their main source of livelihood while 24% had part-time jobs. Some respondents (19%) were members of fishermen or farmers' organizations from where they got assistance in the marketing of products and availed of loans as capital for their businesses.
As to their source of information on government programs, 73 respondents (84%) listened to the radio for information. They tuned in to radio staions DZRB, DZRH, DZMM, bombo Radyo, and DZLL. Forty-nine percent (49%) of the respondents heard the radio program which featured the technology on tilapia culture and out of this portion, 83% acquired knowledge from it. Their knowledge on tilapia culture mainly came from extension workers (43%), friends (33%). radio (24%), through self-study (14%), and from neighbors (9%).
Out of 87 respondents, 41% were knowledgable in tilapia processing. Extension workers (39%) were the main source of information, followed by friends (28%), radio (17%), self-study (14%), and neighbors (3%).
In terms of profitability of tilapia culture, 60% of the respondents found the technology a godd source of livelihood and a profitable venture for the fish is easy to grow. Though less than half (47%) had seen the economic potential of tilapia processing, the respondents recognized that both venture will provide additional income to augment their daily needs and support their children's education. However, they also believe that the adoption of the technology could have adverse effects on the environment and on humans due to pollution from excessive feeding and overstocking of fish. The other problems that the respondents expected to encounter in the adoption of the technology were low wuality of fingerlings which could result to slow/stunted growth of the fish and fish kills due to diseases or other causes. The lack of capital, high costs of inputs, low and fluctuating prices of the produce, oversupply, and limited market outlets also posed problems to the respondents.
As to the effectiveness of the FSA cum training program, the respondents commented that a day was not enough to cover the subject matter, some of the lessons were not clear/audible, and some topics had not been discussed thoroughly. Despite these minor comments, the respondents acknowledged PACMRD's effort in conducting the activity and providing technical assistance to small fishfarmers and fisherfolk. The respondents also expressed willingness to participate in similar activities featuring high-value fishes such as the seabass and grouper, among others. They also indicated their need for financial support and technical assistance from the government and other R&D institutions.