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Seaweed farming empowers women

Seaweed farming empowers women
SPC Aquaculture Specialist Dr Timothy Pickering, Essence of Fiji's Director Debra Sadranu, and Treasure Island resort general manager Robert Wade during the Seaweed project meeting at the Tanoa International Airport yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA
July 19
15:19 2017


Seaweed farming has empowered women, boosting their income level and livelihood.

Women in the north largely benefit – with plans already underway to build a kindergarten.

Ministry of Fisheries Principal Officer Joji Vuakacu shared the good news with participants at the Diversification of Seaweed Industries in Pacific Island countries project meeting at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi yesterday.

“Two of the Women’s group in Navidamu and Nakalou want to build their kindergarten and are the driving force behind the move. Lakeba village in Macuata are also trying to build their community hall, and footpaths.”

He said women in the area while on their way to fish also plant and clean seaweed.

Mr Vuakacu reiterated Government’s support towards the Seaweed farming industry.

This includes the provision of farming materials inclusive of boats and engines, monitoring and evaluation.

“Farming materials, capacity building, technical advice, transportation of dried seaweed to market, human resources (Project Staff), manage the Seaweed Development Program for the country.”

Essence of Fiji director, Debra Sadranu said, “The workshop highlights the strengths and opportunities of Seaweed agriculture as an industry and developing local markets.”

“Creating awareness on various bio-products and diverse Export markets.”

She was asked to showcase Nama of Fiji as a new Seaweed skincare range catering to the global spa wellness industry.

Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) Research Program Manager Fisheries Dr Chris Barlow said they will continue to support such industries in the Pacific including Fiji with new techniques to boost communities.


History of Seaweed

The cultivation was introduced into Fiji in 1976 with Kappaphycus seed stocks from Philippines.

Trial farms for academic research maintained for two years destroyed by cyclone in 1980

In 1984 was reintroduced by MAFF in cooperation with Coast Biologicals (NZ) Ltd. funded by Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC).

Seed stock imported from Tonga with trials conducted across Fiji-Central & Western divisions;

Trials successful Coast Biologicals continued assistance in development of seaweed farming industry in Fiji in collaboration with the Fisheries Divisions and FDB Loans provided to interested farmers.

First commercial production began in 1986 in Tavua, Rakiraki, Kaba, Kiuva and Rewa

Expansion in 1987-Moturiki, Ovalau, Bua, Batiki, Vanuabalavu, Fulaga and Ogea

Coast Biologicals planned to establish a semi-refined carrageenan (SRC) processing plant in Fiji once 600(t) was reached.



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