By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata
MANILA, Feb. 14 (PNA) — Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) will showcase biofloc technology (BFT) and agri-aqua research and development (R&D) outputs at the SIPAG FIESTA slated on March 2-4 at PCAARRD's headquarters in Los Banos, Laguna.
SIPAG (Strategic Industry S&T Program for Agri-Aqua Growth) is the Council's commitment to DOST's Outcome One, ensuring that results of R&D activities of agri-aqua industries will benefit every Filipino.
FIESTA (Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda), on the other hand, is one of its technology diffusion strategies that uses a fiesta atmosphere to enhance agri-aqua technology transfer and commercialization.
BFT is said to improve shrimps' nutrition as it enhances feed conversion ratio, thus resulting to larger shrimps.
According to PCAARRD, when carbon and nitrogen are sufficient in the culture system, the biofloc increases in number and size, making it more visible to shrimps for their consumption.
The Council added that disease control can also be achieved through this technology. "A well-developed biofloc water can contain more than 2,000 bacterial species, which can enhance shrimp’s immune system," it said.
Through the help of BFT, PCAARRD hopes to revitalize the shrimp industry by reducing the occurrence of diseases in shrimps and improving yields.
According to PCAARRD, the Philippines is the 6th largest producer of shrimps, with annual production of about 50,000 metric tons (MT).
However, the industry is facing the challenge on outbreak of diseases such as White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), Hypodermic Haematopoetic Infectious Necrosis Virus (HHINV), Taura Syndrome Virus (TSV), and Yellow Head Virus (YHV).
Meanwhile, corals for transplantation will also be showcased at the SIPAG FIESTA.
In corals asexual reproduction technology for reef restoration, the collection of dislodged live coral fragments or “corals of opportunity” (COPs) and attaching them to coral nursery unit (CNUs) for quick recovery and regeneration to increase survival rates upon transplantation in degraded coral reef sites are involved.
Each CNU is designed to hold 500 COPs per batch and can be used several times a year. The CNU design and the coral transplantation technique which uses marine epoxy clay, nails, and cable tie are outputs of the DOST-PCAARRD funded Filipinnovation program — a program created as a response to coral degradation in the country.
Filipinnovation seeks to roll out coral transplantation technology using asexually reproduced corals to improve productivity of coral resources for sustainable fisheries.
SIPAG FIESTA will serve as an avenue for market matching and commercialization of science and technology (S&T)-based technologies and products. There will be exhibits, technology forum and demonstration, and other activities featuring the R&D outputs of PCAARRD and its partners.
Also, the event will serve as the maiden opening of the DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center (DPITC).
DPITC will house a modern exhibition hub, a digital library, a conference facility, and a business hub. (PNA)