IFSU assists farmers on livelihood

The loach production project, on the other hand, was an off shoot of the research output of the farmer cooperator entitled “Heirloom rice-based Japanese fish production.” Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) or Japanese fish is locally known as yuyu in Ifugao. The farmer cooperator was an alumnus of the first batch of the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) – a JICA funded project in collaboration with Kanazawa University, Japan. His research output showed that yuyu is a profitable endeavor since this fish species feeds on available food in their environment and thrives and multiplies on their own.

The result of the study was reported to be promising as loach fingerlings released in the organically managed rice paddies have had greater weight gain that those released in man-made fish ponds. The IFSU-DET assisted the farmer with initial fingerlings and mesh net. It is hoped that through this project, many farmers will be convinced to adopt yuyu production in their own rice fields, maintain organic farming practices, and be empowered to become entrepreneurs.

Based on the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) forged with the farmer cooperators, the IFSU shall provide scientific and technical assistance to these farmers on their farm related concerns from production to marketing. The farmer cooperators, on one hand, shall ensure functionality and sustainability of the projects. Their farms should also be open to accommodate On-the-Job Training (OJT) students in the future. The MOA likewise stipulates a sharing of whatever income that will be derived from the projects.#

Marah Joy A. Nanglegan & Froylyn G. Mutal