PH should invest more in aquaculture | Inquirer Opinion

PH should invest more in aquaculture

/ 05:10 AM June 16, 2022

The level of population poverty incidence is determined through the variance in the difference between percentage shares of the agricultural and industrial sectors to the labor force, and the difference between the percentage shares of the service and the industrial sectors to the labor force. The higher the variance, the higher the population poverty incidence (PPI).

I would like to make a comparison of said variance in the case of the Philippines and Vietnam, which do not vary much in population and land area.


In the case of the Philippines, it has a labor force — by occupation as follows: In 2015, agriculture (29 percent), industry (16 percent), and service (55 percent); in 2017, agriculture (25.4 percent), industry (18.3 percent), and service (56.3 percent). There was a change in variance from 26 percent in 2015 to 30.9 percent in 2017 with a corresponding change in PPI from 21.6 percent to 23.1 percent, respectively. This situation is caused by the uneven economic development that jeopardized the agricultural sector.

For Vietnam, it has a labor force — by occupation in 2017 as follows: agriculture (40.3 percent), industry (20.9 percent), and service (39 percent). The corresponding variance is 1.3 percent and PPI at 6.7 percent. This indicates a balanced economic development.


In a related development, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and a university in Vietnam formed a partnership to open a new center for training in fisheries and aquaculture. In a paper titled “The path to sustainable fisheries runs through Vietnam — Q and A with UNCTAD economist” in 2018, it was mentioned that “Vietnam is one of the few developing countries in the world that has made significant progress in tapping into the potential of the fisheries sector for social development. Vietnam is the fifth largest producer of fish in the world. It is the fourth producer of aquaculture … And the biggest success for Vietnam is not from the catch. It’s from aquaculture. Today, aquaculture production accounts for 55 percent of the total fish production in the country and generates close to 80 percent of export revenue. Also, the fishery sector along the value chain employs as many as 10 million people. Close to 80 percent of the employment is in the aquaculture sub-sector.”

In the case of the Philippines, given the limit on fish catch, increased production will have to come from aquaculture that registered 1.5 percent in annual growth (excluding seaweed) and 14 percent in mari-culture, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The bottom line is that the country must invest much more in aquaculture. After all, the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Aquaculture Department was established in Iloilo in the early 1970s for the purpose of accelerating aquaculture development among member countries.

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