Fishing to Fix Hunger
(COCONUT CREEK, FL — April 1, 2009) — A Florida-based charity is using a little freshwater fish that’s been around for a long time to help solve a big problem that’s been around just as long.
Food For The Poor, the nation’s largest international aid and development agency, has just launched a massive tilapia farm in Nagua, Dominican Republic. With the support of the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), the charity established the Rio Baqui Tilapia Farm Project as a way to battle poverty and hunger in the area.
“Tilapia farming has been around for thousands of years and poverty has been with us since the dawn of man,” said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor’s executive director. “As Jesus provided for his disciples when they cast their net and reaped a bountiful catch, we know that these self-sustainable enterprise projects give the poor a chance to provide for themselves and break the cycle of poverty that traps them.”
Since 2005, Food For The Poor has developed more than 200 tilapia farms throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. The Rio Baqui project is the largest so far with 20 ponds at a cost of $6,500 each. As each pond can hold nearly 7,000 fish averaging one to one-and-a-half pounds each — and the tilapia can be harvested up to three times a year — Rio Baqui has the potential to produce approximately 420,000 pounds of tilapia annually. The harvested tilapia will be used to feed the poor.
Food For The Poor has partnered with the Most Rev. Julio Cesar Corniel, bishop of the Diocese of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, to oversee the day-to-day operation of the project. Working in his capacity as president of Caritas Dominican Republic, the bishop plans to add another 10 ponds to the Rio Baqui project, ultimately expanding the fish farm to 30 ponds with the potential to produce more than a 600,000 pounds of tilapia yearly.
Food For The Poor is the largest international relief and development organization in the nation. With more than 96% of all donations going directly to programs that help those in need, Food For The Poor provides nourishing food, safe shelter, necessary medical care, educational materials, support for orphans and the aged, and much more to the poorest of the poor in 17 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.
To learn more about Food For The Poor, log on to www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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