ILAGAN, Isabela -- A university professor in this capital town who is a recipient of the “Ulang project” under the Consultancy for Agricultural and Productivity Enhancement (CAPE) of the Department of Science and Technology has produced the biggest ulang or fresh water prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) compared to the same species produced by Regions 5, 6, 9 and 12, according to Director Urdujah Tejada.
“The fish farmer-professor identified as Enrico Santos whose farm is located at Barangay Marana here harvested 12 piece per kilo, breaking the existing record harvest of the Bicol region which registered 20 pieces per harvest,” Tejada said.
The project is in collaboration between DOST and the World Fish Center which provided technical assistance through the latter’s Aquaculture Scientist Hermogenes Tambalque.
“We assisted five other regions in the country and this is the first time we were able to harvest such sizes,” Tambalque said.
Prior to last week’s ceremonial harvest attended by both agencies and other fish farmers in the area, Santos already has a ready market for his produce which he intends to sell at P350 a kilo.
From his 600 square meter pond, he was able to produce a net income of P40,000 or a return of investment of 75 percent. As a result of such encouraging income which he earned in just four months, he said “I will develop another pond for ulang culture.”
Santos revealed that during the first two months, he spent almost 40 bags of commercial feeds until DOST-02 and World Fish Center introduced the green feeding technology.
As the name suggests, vegetable waste are chopped and blanched as an alternative feeds to the prawns. Santos admitted that the technology saved his production cost as commercial feeds dramatically dropped from 40 bags to only 4 bags during the last two months of the operation.
DOST 02 provided Santos with 4,000 pieces of ulang post larvae which he seeded in June.
Tejada expressed hope that with more production at lessexpense, other fisherfolks will likewise venture into “ulang” culture as alternative to rice and corn production.
“Ulang production can be the best alternative source of income at the same time increase fisheries production at a time when the catch in municipal and marine waters is dwindling,” Director Tejada said. #