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Development of Smart Food Value Chain Intervention Models for the Milkfish Industry in Region 1, Philippines

Milkfish production is an important sector of the Philippine aquaculture industry. The Ilocos Region (Region 1), particularly the province of Pangasinan, is the country’s largest producer of milkfish. However, production and environmental constraints confront the milkfish industry, such as insufficient egg supply, degradation of water quality, limited processing facilities and technology, and noncompliance of small-scale processors to food safety standards. To achieve sustainability and resilience, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) commissioned a value chain study to examine the current and “new normal” threats posed to Region 1’s milkfish industry. The study aims to develop intervention models to create a “smart” milkfish value chain. In a smart value chain, the industry players access quality information better, and there are technological innovations along the chain. Various milkfish industry players, such as hatchery operators, growout operators, market intermediaries, retailers, and processors, were interviewed for the study. Furthermore, consultations with various stakeholders, such as relevant government agencies and industry practitioners, determined the most suitable solutions to address the value chain’s core issues. The value chain analysis surfaced a need for an effective strategy to help farmers adopt technological solutions. In addition, the efforts of various support institutions should be harmonized and rationalized. We are proposing these interventions: (1) create a regional milkfish seedstock command center; (2) implement a science and technology community-based farm; and (3) establish a bangus processing enterprise development hub.


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