Seaweed farming expected to increase, bring in big income

[Fiji] Seaweed production in the country is expected to increase in the near future generating an income of $720,000 annually with every 400 tonnes produced.

And according to the Ministry of Fisheries acting director, Neomai Ravitu, the number of seaweed farms has increased immensely from its initiation in 1998 to date.

“The ministry is looking at providing a supply of 400 tonnes minimum, which will generate an income of $720,000 annually, however will increase once this supply is at the industry level. Expected returns annually will change,” Ms Ravitu said.

“Seaweed production rose from 19.8 tonnes in 1998 to 300 tonnes and 516 tonnes in 1999 to 2000 respectively.

“The marketing component was privatised in early 2001. Accordingly, the number of farms rose from nine to over 300 during the same period. Currently, through the National Taskforce, the ministry is working in developing seaweed.”

Ms Ravitu said that seaweed farming was a lucrative one for people in the coastal areas as it only took six weeks till it matures and the price per kilogram was reasonable, which was at $1 per kilogramme.

“The Ministry is working with a market that is willing to buy at a price of $1000 per tonne. The National Taskforce Committee will finalise the market strategy and need for the farms to be developed to reach to the required market demand,” she said.

“Seaweed is termed as “green gold”, which has a higher income return within a short growth period. This is why seaweed farming attracts the interests of individuals in coastal lying areas in the economic development of their natural habitats.”


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