BACOLOD City – Filipino shrimp producers are banking on government support to sustain the industry’s growth in recent years.
Industry players have gathered for the three-day 12th Philippine National Shrimp Congress at the SMX Convention Center Bacolod in a bid to strengthen cooperation to enable local producers to be globally competitive.
Congress chair Constantine Tanchan, in a press conference during the event’s opening on Tuesday, said the Philippine shrimp industry has been “experiencing a tremendous growth” in the past two years, particularly in southern Mindanao, and in areas of the Visayas and Luzon.
He said during those two years, shrimp farms have been expanding and a lot of new players have joined.
“Most of them are small and medium players. We expect next year to be productive for the Philippines. We hope that with government support, we can really be part of the top 10 shrimp producers in the world,” he added.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources national director Eduardo Gongona noted that in 2018, shrimp was one of the major fishery exports, with the Philippines exporting more than 7,000 metric tons (MT) worth P2.43 billion.
The country’s annual average shrimp and prawn production is around 60,000 MT, accounting to 2.65 percent of the total aquaculture production.
Moreover, Tanchan said there is good demand for shrimps in the Philippine market alone.
“The projected production is 60,000 MT, but the export is only 7,000 MT because 90 percent is consumed by Filipinos,” he said.
Tanchan said government policies are crucial in the development of the shrimp industry.
“We can bring the industry to the top 10 (in the world), with total production of 150,000 to 200,000 MT a year,” he added.
In her keynote message, Senate committee on agriculture chair Senator Cynthia Villar said she hopes Congress would be a venue for discussions, collaborations, exchange of ideas, as well as a showcase of the latest technology and best practices.
“Help us make things better, implement timely policies, responsive legislations, and realistic plans. Let us strengthen our collaboration,” Villar added.
This year’s congress carries the theme, “Strengthening Synergies Towards a Progressive Shrimp Industry for Global Competitive Advantage.”(PNA)