FISH Visayas Project Capacitates People's Organizations in Siquijor with Fish Processing Competencies

By Mary Ruth Ochavillo. Posted on OCTOBER 17, 2023.

Siquijor, Siquijor – On September 21, 2023, twenty-five (25) fishers and fish farmers completed the Training on Fish Processing, a three-day program initiated by the FISH Visayas Project. This training is designed to develop market-viable products such as the production of bottled bangus as an alternative livelihood of partner people’s organizations in Siquijor. Notably, the participants produced a total of 74 bottled bangus sardines as output for the training.

Fishing is renowned as a livelihood susceptible to both internal and external threats that can impact the sustainability of fishermen’s income. Recognizing this need, the FISH Visayas Project concentrates its efforts on establishing a pathway for alternative livelihoods through post-harvest processing, which creates opportunities for value addition, broader market access, and income diversification of fisherfolks.

In a significant stride towards income sustainability, the Training on Fish Processing implemented in Siquijor provided partner POs with essential knowledge on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), which constitute a set of regulations for product processing to ensure both safety and quality. Moreover, they were introduced to Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP), with a notable emphasis on promoting health and cleanliness within processing facilities.

The inclusion of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) as a quality management system was a noteworthy addition, focusing on managing specific hazards that pose significant risks to food safety. Significantly, the importance of proper fish handling was underscored, highlighting its role in preventing spoilage, extending shelf life, ensuring product quality, and enhancing product safety.

Durintg the training, participants received guidance on the correct procedures for creating bangus sardines, learned techniques for cost analysis and pricing, and gained insights into effective packaging methods for bottled sardines.

Notably, the training successfully engaged 25 fishers and fish farmers from the Ihalason Fisherfolks Association (IFA), Maite Resource Development Association (MRDA), Caticugan Farmers and Fisherfolks Association (CAFFA), and Siquijor Inland Fish Groomers Association (SIFGA). The three-day session was then successfully facilitated by the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), and organized by AFOS Foundation and the Siquijor Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (SCCII).

The Training on Fish Processing aspires to achieve Result Area 1 “Training for Fishermen and MSMEs” and a step towards achieving Result Area 3 “Market Access” of the FISH Visayas Project.