Improved farming practices are at least partially responsible for an 11 percent increase in Colombia’s tilapia exports to the U.S. market this year.
Sara Patricia Bonilla, general manager of Federación Colombiana De Acuicultores (FEDEACUA), highlighted the jump in Colombia’s tilapia exports while praising farmers for earning Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification at a FEDEACUA-organized celebration of responsible aquaculture in Bogota, Colombia, on Oct. 11.
Marcos Moya, manager of BAP supply development for Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), was among those participating in the event, which involved 48 of the country’s farmers and processors as well as representatives of the Colombian government.
Moya expressed that he can envision Colombia becoming the largest supplier of fresh tilapia to the U.S. market in the future, considering that Mexico and Brazil will eventually focus on producing tilapia for domestic consumption.
Also in attendance were Jose Mican, representing the office of the Colombian Agriculture Ministry; Claudia Bedoya, director of the Productive Transformation Program (PTP) of Commerce Ministry; and Jairo Amezquita, aquaculture consultant of the Americas region for U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).
Mican commended FEDEACUA for providing the training and financial support necessary for Colombia’s small farmers to apply for BAP certification. Early this year, FEDEACUA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GAA and USSEC to help Colombia’s small farmers access BAP, the world’s most comprehensive third-party certification program.
At the event, Amezquita presented a number of tilapia and trout farmers with BAP certificates for attaining BAP certification.