College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS)


USAID STRIDE WARP – Launching of Tuna “Tapa” (Tuna Jerky) Products: Taking on the Challenge Towards Spin-off Startup Enterprise Amidst the Pandemic by Ms. Rose T. Mueda

This research project is an offshoot of the previous USAID Grant awarded to the University of the Philippines Visayas in 2015-2017 that has developed tuna-based jerky products using natural preservatives and flavoring from plant-based extracts which were in collaboration with the private sectors, the Herbanext Laboratories, Inc. and Thelmie’s Dried Fish.



Iloilo and nearby provinces are blessed with abundant tuna resources, and during peak season, surplus stock are observed and not sold as fresh tuna in the wet market. This present USAID Grant which was implemented last December 2020 until May 2021 enabled the transformation of these abundant tuna species into food product with more economic value such as tuna tapa or tuna jerky. The project was able to develop more tuna tapa variants, improve the packaging design, develop promotional materials, test the products for omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients, and formulate pre-launching strategy. Tuna tapa variants are of high quality, healthy, nutritious and ready to eat.

The ultimate goal is to spin-off commercialization of the developed tuna tapa products after the R&D phase of the project, and add to the success stories of an innovator-entrepreneur business model. This offers more opportunity to startup entrepreneurs, partnerships with stakeholders, increase income of small scale fishermen and farmers, and involvement of women in the communities.

This project envisions to contribute to economic sustainability and inclusive economic growth of the communities by creating employment opportunities and income to the local government.

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