One Hundred Five (105) families in the Municipality of Rizal received seaweed farming materials from the Provincial Government of Palawan (PGP) through the Seaweed Industry Development Program of the Livelihood Project Management Unit (LPMU).
According to the Supervising Administrative Officer and Livelihood Project Consultant, Mr. Edgardo Zabala, Jr., this program is a great help to the livelihood of such families who grow seaweeds.
“Malaking tulong ang proyektong ito sa kanilang hanapbuhay dahil pagdating sa input hindi na sila bumibili dahil libre nilang natatanggap ‘yon at sasamahan na lang nila ng pananim,” he said.
“…bale pagdating sa produksiyon nila ay less na ‘yong mga gastusin dahil nakatanggap sila ng libreng mga gamit kaya malaking tulong ‘yon sa kita bilang isang pamilya sa kanilang kabuhayan sa seaweed farming”, Zabala expressed.
The LPMU warned seaweed farmers in the province to avoid using fertilizer on their crops as it could affect the overall price of seaweeds.
Based on the report of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Philippines is the world’s third largest producer of seaweed, following China and Indonesia, and MIMAROPA is one of its major producers in the country.
Seaweeds farming history in Palawan
BFAR Region 4 cited that, in 1978, seaweed farming was introduced in Green Island, Roxas, Palawan by the Marines Colloids, Philippines.
In 1979, seaweed farming using the Tawi-tawi technology was adopted in the municipality of Balabac. “Many Palaweños adopted seaweed farming as their main source of livelihood.”
There are several seaweed species found in Palawan, Kappaphycus alvarezii and Eucheuma spinosum are the major species cultured in marine waters. The common species that collected from the wild are Eucheuma, Caulerpa, Gracilaria and Sargassum. Some seaweed farmers cultured Caulerpa sp.
There are many seaweed traders or buyers in the country. In Palawan, the common practice is from farmer/producer through traders to exporters/processors. According to BFAR, the marketing of seaweeds is channeled to several buyers before it reaches processors.