Tilanggit Production Is a Viable Livelihood
Even small fishes are a great catch.
Proof to this is the tilanggit, the undersized tilapia that is being processed similar to danggit, or dried rabbit fish of Cebu. Tilanggit production is seen today as a promising livelihood, and three farmers’ association in Diffun, Quirino have found it viable.
The Diffun Farmers Livelihood Association (DFLA), Palacian Food Processors Association, and the Villa Pagaduan Multi-Livelihood Association are pleased with this venture. They are able to make money from undersized tilapia, which resulted from calamities or poor culture management.
“Processing undersized tilapia into tilanggit offers fish farmers a great way to recover investment on a losing venture.” said Dr. Jovita Ayson, director of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 2.
The groups are thankful to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 2 for awarding them this P1.2 million processing project. They are also glad that BFAR Region 2 has given them 600,000 tilapia post fry, and trained them on tilapia grow out production.
Members of the Diffun Farmers Livelihood Association (DFLA) and their president, Julie Salum (left) use the mechanical dryer given to them by the Department of Labor and Employment in processing tilanggit.
GROW-OUT PRODUCTION FOR TILANGGIT
The stocking rate (fingerlings) per square meter for tilanggit production can be higher than the stocking rate for semi-intensive tilapia culture, which is five fingerlings per square meter. This is because the stocks are to be harvested in a short time and are not meant to grow to market size.
Hermogenes Tambalque III, BFAR Region 2 extension division chief’. said the stocking density for tilanggit production can be as high as 50 to 150 pieces of size 17 fingerlings (0.56 g-1.5 g) per square meter. He learned this from a presentation by the Northern Luzon Aquatic and Marine R & D Zonal Center in San Fernando, La Union.
One of the presenters was Dr. Jinnie Mamhot. Mamhot said that artificial aeration and frequent water change is necessary for this culture system. Feeding rate (commercial feeds and rice bran), on one hand, is computed at 5 percent to 7 percent of average body weight at start of culture period down to 2 percent to 3 percent at the end of the three-month cycle.
Harvest weight is 25 g-30 g, As for the price, DFLA president Julie Salum said that a kilo can be sold at P40.
“One advantage of 0row-out production for tilanggit is shorter turnaround and potentially higher income compared to normal tilapia production, especially if the farmer will process the raw material himself,” Tambalque said.
To make tilanggit, the fish are washed and cleaned first. The scales, fins and tails are cut and the gills and intestines are removed. Then the fish are split into two. Wash these again before soaking these in brine solution made up of 0.5 liter vinegar, 1 liter water, 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 teaspoon MSG, 1/2 pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic. Drain the next day. Dry the fish either through sundrying or by mechanical dryer, then pack these.
Salum said that sundrying usually takes eight hours; seven hours on the first day and one more hour the following day to eliminate extra moisture. But with a mechanical dryer, drying time takes only 1.3 hours and of course, this could be done even during rainy days. Currently, the associations use mechanical dryers, which DOLE have given to them.
DFLA is already selling tilanggit at P35 per 50-gram pack, and the Department of Trade and Industry and non-government organization Palacian Economic Development Association, Inc. are helping them in marketing. The two associations, meanwhile, are also working on their tilanggit production.
By Max Prudencio
Photo by : onebandila.com