ZAMBOANGA CITY-- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has released over half-a-million peso grant to revitalize the oyster (talaba) industry in Kabasalan town, Zamboanga Sibugay.
The beneficiary of the PHP558,050 financial aid, released through DOSTs Grant-In-Aid (GIA) program, is the Kapunungan sa Ginagmay'ng Mangingisda sa Concepcion (KGMC) fisherfolk organization.
DOST Regional Director Martin Wee said Wednesday the assistance would be used for acquiring technologies and equipment for oyster sauce production and the development of other value-added talaba products.
Wee said the grant has been brought about by the observable decline of talaba production in Kabasalan, which is attributed to the rapid sediment buildup in the areas farms.
Wee said the oysters lengthy gestation period has also contributed to this decline, causing farmers to instead catch blue crabs and fish for livelihood.
He said that aside from the interventions, the project is also set to provide trainings on good manufacturing practices, laboratory testing, packaging and labeling options and other technical consultations for the sustainability of the trade and the overall improvement of the quality of life in Kabasalan by providing alternative sources of income for its communities.
The DOST GIA program provides grants for the implementation of programs and projects that fall under the identified DOST priority sectors, and aims to strengthen these sectors in research and development, promotion, technology transfer and utilization, human resource development, information dissemination, advocacy and linkages. (PNA)