BFAR Cebu supports BNCGI's Commercial Scale Aquaponics System
The BNCGI Members of the Board headed by its CEO Kim Torrequemada paid a visit to the office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR 7) last September 23, 2019. The group met with Mr. Edgardo Delfin, the Cebu Provincial Fishery OIC, and discussed their proposal for collaboration and on how BFAR can assist and maximize BNCGI's commercial aquaponics system to produce more fish.
As BNCGI's CEO, Kim Torrequemada shares the team's vision and their passion into Agriculture, Delfin also shared to the team that the Aquaculture industry in Cebu is declining and they are also looking for ways to recover and increase fish production in the region. Delfin said that the Philippines is already importing "Tulingan" and "Galunggong" which are the 2 common types of fish that Filipinos eat due to very low production of fish and only few individuals are raising fish.
One of BFAR's goal is to encourange the youth to engage into Aquaculture. They both shared the same goals with the Department of Agriculture. But the challenge is how to make Aquaculture and Agriculture enticing to millennials when they prefer to work in an office rather than work in the field under the heat of the sun? BFAR has even 23 sholarship grants each year offer to students who wants to study in the field of Aquaculture but this does not entice high school graduating students to go into Aquaculture.
With the advent of the Commercial Scale Aquaponics system designed by BNCGI, which uses modern technology and requires engineering skills and knowledge in raising fish and vegetables, BFAR and BNCGI are confident that this will make the Filipino youth curious and interested in learning about the aquaponics system.
Aquaponics technology, the modern method of farming, requires knowledge and skills in multiple fields of engineering like Mechanical, Chemical, Civil, Electrical as well as Plumbing.
In short, students will learn Engineering and how they can integrate it into Aquaculture and Agriculture.
One of the goals of BNCGI is to build a Technological College and will offer Bachelor of Science in Aquaponics Engineering. Dr. Cornelio Duaso, BNCGI President and also a member of CHED's Regional Quality Assurance Team (RQAT), will design a curriculum for this course This course is geared in enriching our youth with knowledge in multiple fields of engineering as well as Aquaculture and Agriculture. This will make our youth interested into Aquaculture and Agriculture.
Mr. Delfin said that BFAR Cebu is in full support of BNCGI's Commerical Scale Aquaponics System as well as its plan with the Technological College. BFAR Cebu also suggest to consider African Catfish or Hito into the Aquaponics system since Hito is considered as high-value fish with good economical value. BFAR Cebu is willing to provide free fingerlings to BNCGI upon the implementation of the Aquaponics System.
BFAR Cebu is excited with the implementation of BNCGI Aquaponics System as this will also boost the Aquaculture production in Cebu and fully supports BNCGI's goals.
BFAR Cebu and BNCGI agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding which will be scheduled in the near future.