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Balikbayan finds ulang production profitable
by Benjie S. De Yro
QUEZON, Nueva Vizcaya, January 31, 2012 (PIA) -- A former accountant of an insurance company in the United States discovered the economic potentials of the fresh-water prawn , ulang (Macrobrachium rosenbergii), four months after he ventured into its production.

Frederick Yang, owner of the Yang Farm in Barangay Maddiangat in this municipality netted P19,000 from his 0.1 hectare ulang pond after he stocked it with 6,500 post larvae ulang.

Regional Director Urdujah Tejada of the Department of Science and Technology said Yang is one of the recipients of the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SET UP) when the latter approached the agency and expressed his desire to further develop his 3.4 hectare farm which is planted to rice, high value crops and rubber.

In a simple harvest festival held recently in the Yang Farm, Frederick said he was convinced of the sincerity of the government to really assist fish farmers to improve their productivity.

“I don’t know anything about such project on ulang. I first ventured into tilapia and red tilapia culture after I attended a seminar in Manila,” he said.

As his initial ulang venture, Yang was able to net an income of P19,000 or a 58 percent return of investment. Like the rest of the other ulang growers in the region, the DOST, through World Fish Center, has introduced the use of vegetables as alternative feeds to cost-cut production and to limit the use of commercial feeds.

Hermogenes Tambalque, Aquaculture Scientist of World Fish and a former consultant of DOST said commercial feeds should only be applied to induce the growth of algae which becomes natural food for the species.

After that, commercial feeds usage should be minimized while the use of vegetables left-over as feeds is encouraged.

Meanwhile, Tejada lauded the efforts of Yang who started planting 20,000 rubber trees in his farm. The Director said he might be the first in Northern Luzon to venture into rubber plantation farming.

She assured Yang that like in his ulang ponds, the DOST will provide the necessary technology on rubber once the trees are ready for harvest. (BSY/PIA 2)

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