When Vicente Lugagay of Brgy. Rizal Santiago City in Isabela quit his job, the 53-year old fish farm worker put up his own tilapia hatchery. Through hard work and smart business sense, he became successful and was named the 2018 Gawad Saka winner in the Fish Culture Category. He received P 300,000in prizes from the national and regional levels.
With this accolade, he knew that his decision to quit his job is the right decision. Vicente Lugagay’s Jave Farm produces 300,000 to 500,000 fingerlings month which is sold not only in Isabela but also in other places in Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan, Pampanga, and the Cordillera Administrative Region. Lugagay won his national and regional awards because of the practical and innovative technologies he has opted-in running his tilapia hatchery.
His smart business sense and acumen enables Lugagay to have low-cost feeds by using green water technology during the breeding stage. This entails pond fertilization using commercial feeds. With natural food, the tilapia breeders don’t expel their eggs during mouthbrooding. Aside from planktons and moon, Lugagay uses other natural feeds such as duckweeds, azalea, and dried soft-shelled shrimp. Homemade probiotics are also used to provide vigorous to the breeders and prevent mortality during the hot summer months.
Lugagay also installed a special pump in his conditioning tanks instead if the conventional flow-through and aeration system. This allows for more sturdy fingerlings, thereby higher survival. Sex reversal is achieved in only four days instead of the usual 21 days. Lugagay’s fingerlings are also adaptable to climate change which is achieved by crossbreeding specific tilapia strains.
This business whiz from Santiago Isabela knows when to speed up production to cope up with demand and also seeks new markets when sales are low. As a marketing strategy, he gives generous commission to agents who can close a deal for his hatchery farm. And aside from his incentives, the excellent performance of his fingerlings often serves as the advertisement that makes his customers asking for more of his products.
As a reputable source of fingerlings, Lugagay sees to it that every sale comes with complete technical advice from the whole duration of the culture period to ensure the success of his buyers.
With additional reports from Zac Sarian, Manila Bulletin