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Fish best protein source amid rising food prices

AMID rising food prices, Advocacy group Tugon Kabuhayan yesterday, January 28, 2021, said fresh fish like bangus and tilapia are the Filipino family’s best alternative source of protein.

At a time when the cost of meat and poultry products are spiralling due to supply and pandemic issues, the group said fish from aquaculture remains the most affordable food for Pinoys.

Per capita, Filipinos consume about 60 kilos of meat protein per year. Sixty percent of that, or roughly 36 kilos, comes from fish, according to government data. Hence, fish – like bangus and tilapia – can be a real ‘life saver’ especially for low income families,” Tugon Kabuhayan said.

Based on the Department of Agriculture’s Price Monitoring, pork has peaked at P400 per kilo this January while aquaculture commodities bangus and tilapia can be bought at P170 and P120 per kilo, respectively. The prices of these aquaculture commodities are far lower than local and imported round scad (galunggong) which range from P200 to P260 per kilo.

Makati City Pabakuna

As this developed, Tugon Kabuhayan said it is confident that the aquaculture sector has sufficient supply of bangus and tilapia. The group predicts that prices of fish will further decrease in the following months based on last years’ trend wherein the prices of galunggong and bangus went down by as much as P50-P60 per kilo.

Additionally, the group said data shared by fish producers from Taal and Pampanga show that tilapia farm gate price is starting to exhibit a downward trend. This trend may lead to lower retail prices now at P120 down to P110 per kilo by mid-February to early March. Price of tilapia is expected to further dip starting April. Furthermore, prices of all fish are expected to decrease as more fish become available as the closed season of round scad will end on January 31.

Tugon Kabuhayan said the country will be better served if there is continuous growth in aquaculture. The group reiterates its call for government to further facilitate the growth of aquaculture by allowing sustainable use of lakes, dams and reservoirs for aquaculture production.

The past years have shown stable growth in the production of aquaculture commodities, especially tilapia. We strongly urge the public to buy more affordable and locally produced bangus and tilapia. Patronizing these commodities will encourage production which will further stabilize supply and fish prices.” the group added.