BOOK SHOW­CASES SHRIMP BIOTECH­NOL­OGY RE­SEARCH

Agriculture - - Small But Productive -

AS SHRIMP is a high-value com­mod­ity, shrimp aqua­cul­ture is a ma­jor in­dus­try in the Philip­pines. Given the var­i­ous chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties in shrimp aqua­cul­ture, there is a need for com­pre­hen­sive and sys­tem­atized in­for­ma­tion about shrimp.

“Biotech­no­log­i­cal Ad­vances in Shrimp Health Man­age­ment in the Philip­pines,” a book that com­piles the rel­e­vant re­search on shrimp, was pub­lished to pro­vide those in the trade with up-to-date in­for­ma­tion about shrimp biotech­nol­ogy.

Each of the book’s ten chap­ters was writ­ten by a dif­fer­ent ex­pert, and in­cludes dis­cus­sions on chal­lenges cur­rently en­coun­tered by the in­dus­try; a com­plete doc­u­men­ta­tion and over­view of the man­age­ment prac­tices of dis­eases caused by vi­ral pathogens; and po­ten­tial biotech­no­log­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions that can pre­pares a soil-less pot­ting medium made from a mix of equal parts well-washed coco coir dust and Klass­mann brand TS1 and TS2 medium from Al­lied Botan­i­cal Corp. He be­lieves this mix­ture is the best for seed ger­mi­na­tion and pro­vides a com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment for the seeds. He sows the seeds in his medium us­ing 128-hole plas­tic seedling trays.

He sprays his own se­cret con­coc­tion of fungi­cides to pre­vent dis­eases from in­fect­ing his grow­ing seedlings. Ir­ri­ga­tion is needed ev­ery­day to en­sure the seeds are kept slightly moist. After 15-18 days, the seedlings are trans­ferred to PE plas­tic prop­a­ga­tion bags to give the roots am­ple space to grow. In a few more weeks, they are ready for sale.

be em­ployed as part of good aqua­cul­ture prac­tices. It also con­tains a dis­cus­sion of molec­u­lar ap­proaches to bet­ter un­der­stand the shrimp im­mune sys­tem and the de­vel­op­ment of biotech­no­log­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions for the in­dus­try’s de­vel­op­ment.

The book was an out­put of the Shrimp Biotech­nol­ogy Pro­gram funded by the Depart­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST). It caters to di­verse stake­hold­ers like sci­en­tists, shrimp farm­ers, aqua­cul­tur­ists, re­searchers, and stu­dents. (JOBELLE MAE L. ZURAEK, DOSTPCAARRD S&T ME­DIA SER­VICE) Aga can pro­duce up to 3,500 seedlings per month, depend­ing on the sea­son. He sells each seedling for R35, and this adds up to to­tal sales rev­enues of more than R120,000 on a good month. Not bad for so lit­tle space and a lot of ten­der, lov­ing care. His cus­tomers know they can de­pend on him to pro­duce high-qual­ity seedlings of Red Lady pa­paya, and it is that re­li­a­bil­ity which keeps them com­ing back to do busi­ness with him.

Aga’s hard­work­ing na­ture, which al­lowed him to sac­ri­fice all for his fam­ily, has paid off, and his busi­ness, though small, keeps him and his fam­ily happy and ful­filled.

Red Lady seedlings ready for sell­ing. In the right­most photo, Aga poses with his brother Ar­nel’s store.

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