Vitarich to Expand Philippines Pangasius Production


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
December 2, 2008

Vitarich Corp. is looking to expand its pangasius operations in Mindanao, Philippines’ easternmost and second largest island. The company is looking to contract with pangasius farmers there, Eduardo Lazo, business development manager for Vitarich, told BusinessWorld.

Vitarich already has 16 farmers, mostly in Luzon, said Lazo. Mindanao is a viable area for expansion since it already has many fish farms. The island also has more stable weather than Luzon.

Next year, Vitarich plans to distribute 230,000 fingerlings a month to its farmers, with Mindanao representing a significant share, said Lazo.

Although export demand for pangasius is expanding and currently dominated by Vietnam, Lazo said there are local opportunities to sell pangasius since only big hotels and restaurants menu it in fillet form.

The Philippines currently imports about 20 containers of pangasius fillets month, said Lazo.

At the current price of PHP90 to 130 (USD$1.83 to $2.64) per kilogram, Lazo said a farmer should be able to double his capital in six months. Pangasius reaches at least 1.2 kilograms after seven months, he added.

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