Two-hundred (200) seaweed growers from Puerto Princesa City and Palawan Province participated in the 2nd Palawan Seaweed Industry Summit on May 9 to10, 2019 in Puerto Princesa City. The summit was jointly organized by the Puerto Princesa Seaweed Network, the Puerto Princesa City Government, and USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project.
The summit sought to strengthen access of seaweed growers to more lucrative markets and modern production and processing technologies. As a result, three seaweed producer groups, namely Babuyan Seaweed Planters Association, San Rafael Seaweed Growers Association, and Salvacion Seaweed Farmers Association signed a marketing agreement with Cebu-based processor Marine Colloid Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) for direct supply of raw dried
seaweeds. The marketing agreement, facilitated by USAID/SURGE and the Puerto Princesa and Palawan
Seaweed Network, will enable the three associations to directly ship their seaweed produce to MCPI.
The Seaweed Network recently issued a resolution urging the city government to enact a local ordinance to ban the improper use of fertilizers in seaweed farming to help ensure good quality seaweed products. To support the expansion of the local seaweed industry in Puerto Princesa, the city government’s Technical Working Group for Business Permit and Licensing presented its proposal to streamline procedures for securing an Exclusive Fishery Privilege, which is one of the requirements of a seaweed grower in securing a business permit. In the proposed procedure, the number of steps for application will be reduced from 21 to four.
Moreover, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)N reiterated their continuing assistance to seaweedgrowers through the distribution of good quality seedlings and the establishment of seedling nurseries in selected areas.
The Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP) lauded the active role of the Seaweed Network in developing the seaweed sector in the whole province and committed to strengthen its collaboration with the network in disseminating market information, forging direct market linkages, and advocating for more government support to seaweed growers.(P.R)