Davao del Sur seaweed industry gets boost

Subscribe Now June 17, 2013 at 11:39am

THE government has committed to pour a total of P11.4 million in Davao del Sur to boost the growth and development of the seaweed industry in the province.

Provincial agriculture officer Araceli Exclamador, a regular member of the seaweed industry cluster who oversees projects and activities of the industry in the province, said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has set aside a budget of P6.4 million to be allotted to some 2,650 families living along coastal villages of the province covering 66.25 hectares of shoreline and coastal waters from Sta. Cruz to Sarangani.

These families are members of the Bato Seaweed Growers Association.

"We're adopting the family-based module where the father is the president or head of the business enterprise," Exclamador said.

Each family had been given 0.125 hectare and a starting capital of P12,000 to start seaweed growing and production in these areas of Davao del Sur.

Some materials like floaters and twines, among others, are expected to arrive by July this year and distributed by the town's fishery coordinators, according to Exclamador.

Facilities for these family-based seaweed production units are also expected to be built and installed this year, to include solar dryers made of concrete and wood where newly-harvested seaweeds are dried under the sun.

Also to be built is a big warehouse near the shore where dried seaweeds packed in sacks are stored, waiting for the container van of the seaweed buyer to load them for shipment to their processing plant in Cebu.

Here, the dried seaweeds are processed into carrageenan powder, a gelling agent used for both consumer and industrial products, highly in demand in global markets.

These two facilities will be funded by P5 million released by the Department of Agriculture which facilitated this fund from the World Bank's Mindanao Rural Development Project.

Source: sunstar.com.ph

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