Supply chain improvement of mudcrab in Central Luzon region (Phase 1: Evaluation research)
Fe L. Porciuncula, Janet N. Padilla, Janet O. Saturno, and Rex S. Parayno
Mudcrab is a commercially important fishery species cultured mostly in brackishwater ponds in the country. The research assessed the existing supply chain for mudcrab in Central Luzon and identified areas for improvement to improve the existing supply chain in the region. The study covered the major mudcrab producing municipalities in Pampanga, namely; Masantol and Macabebe. Tracer methodology was employed to identify the respondents. A total of 55 respondents were interviewed composed of crablet agents, mudcrab growers, consignacion proprietors, wholesaler-retailers, wholesaler, exporter, and consumers. Supply chain performance was gauged in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, and responsiveness. Central Luzon ranked second to Northern Mindanao (36.07% contribution) among the top five major mudcrab producing regions, contributing 33.74% to the total volume of production in the Philippines. Pampanga on the other hand, is the top mudcrab producing province in Central Luzon with a total production of 35,752.77 mt in 2002 – 2012 contributing 32.07% to the total national production and 95.07% to the regional production. The supply chain for mudcrab in Central Luzon is generally simple. The supply chain for local transaction and export transaction are the two supply chains identified for mudcrab wherein the key players include the crablet agent, mudcrab grower, consignacion, wholesaler, wholesaler retailer, exporter, retailer and the end consumer. The supply chain for local transaction is short and the general product flow of mudcrab is from the crablet agent to the grower then to the consignacion the wholesaler-retailer, retailer, then to the end consumer. The supply chain for export transaction is more defined to meet the demand of the export market. The quality requirement for export is more specific of the Bulik or Pulahan species with differences in sizes and kind of fat for export market such as: 200-500g/pc, male or female with green fat for the Hongkong market; 200-500g/pc, male or female with yellow fat for the Taiwan market; and 750-1000g/pc, male or female with green fat for the Singapore market. In both supply chains, the volume of transaction, quality requirements, type of packaging, delivery transaction, information and payment transactions are being met by the supply chain actors denoting certain degree of efficiency. There is an evident good business relationship among the key players and the attendant key customers working together based on trust. The presence of logistical issues however, denotes some degree of inefficiencies which include the difficulty of sourcing crablets as these are sourced from distant Bicol, Samar and Cagayan, coupled with the problems on delayed delivery and inadequate supply of crablets. Determination of the selling price of mudcrab based on the “Bulungan” may not be accurate and could be disadvantageous to the mudcrab growers. Inadequate financial resources is also a logistical issue identified by the mudcrab growers and traders. The external influences which affect the supply chains are bad weather, apparent water pollution and absence of government support. The areas for improvement/recommendations are identified in terms of establishing strategically located mudcrab hatcheries and nurseries in Pampanga to answer the logistical problem of distant sources of stocks, delayed delivery and inadequate supply of crablets. Building capacities of the supply chain members can also be improved to enhance their skills and abilities to participate meaningfully in the entire supply chain. Particular attention could be on how to standardize prices of mudcrab that is based on more accepted system. The mudcrab growers and traders can be linked to micro credit facilities with low interest rates. Water quality assessment could be done by the BFAR regional office in response to the apparent water pollution in the study areas.
Keywords: supply chain, mudcrab, local transaction, export transaction, efficiency