Caption: Turaga ni Koro of Kavewa Village Emosi Time with his line of seaweed.Photo:SUPPLIED MINFO.
By ASHTOSH SINGH
Seaweed farming is an easy and cost effective way of generating revenue for villagers in the Northern Division.
The acting principal Fisheries officer Northern, Joji Vakaca Vakawaletabua reiterated that unlike other conventional animal rearing or farming practises, seaweed farming did not require a lot of experience for those interested in dwelling into the scheme.
“Seaweed farming is easy in that you do not have to worry about feed or other things that come along with farming or keeping livestock such as poultry or sheep. With seaweed farming, all you have to do is wait for low tide and head out to the seaweed lines and clean them,” Mr Vakawaletabua said.
He also stated that the Department of Fisheries was committed to creating awareness on seaweed farming in Northern communities in order to fulfil the target set out for the whole of the year.
“Our fisheries officer who is responsible for seaweed farming in Macuata has just recently returned from Bali to learn about a few methodologies like the long line method and bamboo method which has greatly helped the planting of seaweed in the province,” he said.
Mr Vakawaletabua added that the onus was on the people to give their full attention to seaweed farming as they would be the ones reaping the benefits.
“It is up to the people to commit to seaweed farming as it will only guarantee more income being generated into their households.”
Mr Vakawaletabua highlighted that for each line of seaweed; there would be at least a 3kg weight value to it with 80 cents per kilo dried seaweed produced.
“The price of seaweed now is $800 for one tonne and we have brought the market to them.”
He also added that the Fisheries Department in the North would always be at hand to assist the targeted communities reach the intended seaweed production target for each village.
For Kavewa village headman Emosi Time, who has already laid more than 100 lines of seaweed in the two weeks since the start of the project, the target is clearly mapped out in his mind.
“As of last week, I have laid 112 lines and I am targeting to lay more lines of seaweed because I am targeting to lay 400 lines,” he said.
Meanwhile, the village of Kavewa has altogether laid 970 lines of seaweed with their targeted number of seaweed to be laid standing at 3000.