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Need for Seaweed industry to standardise: expert

Need for Seaweed industry to standardise: expert
Seaweed Industries project at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA
July 18
19:44 2017

The seaweed industry in the region needs to put in place standardised processes.

A strong focus on community level engagement with village based farming will also ensure its survival.

This was the remarks made by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project leader, University of the Sunshine Coast, Nicholas Paul.

He spoke at the Diversification of seaweed industries in Pacific Island Countries Seaweed project review meeting at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi yesterday.

“The aim of the project is to diversify the activities and the opportunities available to the seaweed industry in the Pacific islands.

“The intent is to make the local industry more resilient to both external and internal changes for each partner country.”

ACIAR Country Manager Fiji and Pacific Island Countries Vinesh Prasad said, “Seaweeds are produced for food and as industrial products throughout the Pacific and many communities rely on this production for significant portions of their income.

“This industry is diverse in the types of seaweeds produced, whether they are cultured or harvested, the way that they are processed and in the final use of the seaweeds.”

However, this diversity is yet to be translated into a sustainable or growing industry.

Concerns raised by stakeholders include technical, cultural and economic aspects.

Mr Prasad said there is a considerable opportunity to modernise and expand the seaweed industry.

This means value adding which involves the introduction of new products and applications.

Mr Prasad said this can only be done with the support of government, fisheries departments, researchers and the private sector.

The project involves partners from fisheries departments in Fiji, Samoa, Kiribati as well as university partners, the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University and industry partners.

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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