The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit 6 (DA-RFU 6) on Thursday. gave recognition to outstanding individuals and farmer's cooperatives in Western Visayas whose efforts have contributed much in the high agriculture production of this region.
Ten individuals and three farmer's cooperatives were honored during the regional Gawad Saka ceremony.
Two of the awardees will compete for the 2009 national Gawad Saka Award of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Tomas Hautea, an outstanding fisherman in fish culture category, was one of the two awardees who qualified to the national search.
He is an undergraduate mechanical engineer and was into jeep conversion enterprise before he ventured into fishing.
Hautea started by leasing fishponds before he decided to purchase his own in Dumangas, Iloilo.
He now owns Retcem Bangus – Fish Farm and Hatchery which provides milkfish fries to farmers in Panay and Negros Occidental.
He is also an advocate of Coastal Resource Management (CRM) campaigning for the protection of mangroves that serve as dikes support and habitat for various fish species.