DA-BAR, BFAR-NFTC to upgrade first-ever tilapia germplasm bank

The DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), through its National Freshwater Technology Center (NFTC), kicked off the implementation of the project, Upgrading of Tilapia Germplasm Bank at BFAR-NFTC, in an inception meeting with DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) held on 29 August 2023 virtually.

Funded under the Research Facility Development Grant of DA-BAR, the project targets to improve the existing tilapia germplasm bank–the first-ever tilapia germplasm bank in the world, and to acquire additional equipment for use by researchers and students involved in genetic research.

Jodecel C. Danting, BFAR-NFTC chief and project leader, highlighted that the provision of three additional dewar storage containers shall yield a 33% increase in the storage capacity of the facility. Moreover, she also mentioned that a 15% percent increase in the physical facility shall aid researchers in the various procedures conducted in preserving male gametes of valuable tilapia strains.

She furthered that these improvements shall transform the current facility into an international standards-compliant tilapia gene bank and thereby contribute to stabilizing the supply of valuable freshwater species of economic importance such as tilapia.

 “In the future, the center envisions expanding its capacity by conducting cryopreservation of different important strains of freshwater species, " said chief Danting.

On behalf of the bureau, Program Monitoring, Evaluation, and Linkaging Division technical staff Gian Carlo R. Espiritu presented the monitoring and evaluation requirements as well as project timelines and deliverables for the implementation of the said project. (### Angelo N. Padura)