GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Nov. 19 (PNA) — The city government is pushing for the entry of more investments and ventures on shrimp farming and production in a bid to develop the industry as among the city’s major economic drivers.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Thursday they are currently meeting with potential investors and local industry players for the development of processing plants and the expansion of shrimp farms in the area.
He said the city has available resources and support facilities required for the production of export-quality shrimps.
“The city is ready and open for new investments and businesses for aquaculture, especially shrimps, and we’ve put in place the necessary policies and infrastructure to support that (aquaculture),” he said.
The mayor said they are seriously looking at aquaculture to help propel the city’s economy beyond the flagship tuna industry.
He said the city government wants to enhance its decades-long image as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.”
“My direction is to take the city beyond being just a tuna capital. We want our city to have a stronger economic base through diverse businesses,” Rivera said.
According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the country’s shrimp production reaches around 70,000 metric tons annually that is valued at PHP10 billion.
The city and nearby Sarangani Province accounts for about 15 percent of the country’s exports of Philippine vannamei or white shrimps.
Rivera said the city offers better opportunities and advantages for investors if they would choose the area for their expansions and fresh ventures.
He said the city has an international-standard airport and seaport that could facilitate access for trade with major markets.
“We’re also improving our support facilities for water and power to cater to the demands of our industries,” he said.
The mayor said investors may also avail of various incentives from the local government as provided for in its investment code.
“We can really make that happen here in GenSan (General Santos City). We can also help small investors and cooperatives in establishing shrimp farms as it can be done even by starting small,” he added.(PNA)