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Restaurant/Catering Market Boosts Pangasius Demand

11 July 2012

PHILIPPINES - The Bataan Hotel and Restaurant Owners’ Association (BHROA) is looking into the potential of using Pangasius fish as a basic ingredient in their fish fillets and other dishes instead of imported fishes, a shift that would mean savings of millions of pesos.

BHROA president Lino Obana said they will discuss the possibility of using Pangasius in their hotels and restaurants’ recipes in support of the advocacy of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to boost the production of the freshwater fish, reports ManilaBulletin.

He said a taste test may be raised in the group’s meeting on 10 July to compare Pangasius with the imported Cream Dory which is used widely in fish fillets because of the tenderness and flavor of the meat.

“We don’t have an idea as to the taste of Pangasius so we need to taste it. We will support DTI but the problem is: How would you compare the local with the imported?” said Mr Obana during the recent Enhanced SME Caravan of DTI-Bataan in Balanga City.

According to DTI-Bataan director Yay Lasam, the price of Pangasius will be a plus factor because it only costs P120 to P160 per kilo compared to Creak Dory which costs P7,000 per 10 kilos or P700 a kilo.

“Thousands of tons of Cream Dory are being imported from Viet Nam. The people must be aware of Pangasius as the local version of Cream Dory in the Philippines,” said Ms Lasam.

She said DTI-Bataan is also promoting Pangasius in the market because even the fish vendors are not aware of the fish. The creation of fish farms breeding Pangasius are also encouraged since there is only one existing in Bataan, Ms Lasam said.

The DTI first created Pangasius farms in Mindanao. The department later brought the programme to Regions three, four, five, and eight to cut the country’s average monthly imports of Pangasius from Viet Nam which amounts to 600 metric tons valued at $1.650 million.

According to the DTI, if the country will be able to substitute its monthly importation of Pangasius by 2016, 270 hectares of land will be developed which is expected to generate P650 million in investments and employ at least 2,700 people.

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