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close this bookThe Eucheuma Seaweed Story in the Western Indian Ocean Region: Past, Present and Future (COSTECH, 1994, 33 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentDedication
View the documentAbstract
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentHistorical Background on the Eucheuma Seaweed
View the documentBiology and Ecology of the Eucheuma Seaweed
View the documentInitiation of Seaweed Farming in Tanzania
View the documentActivities which Enhanced the Success of the Seaweed Farming Trials
View the documentThe Current Status of Seaweed Farming in Tanzania
View the documentFuture Potential of Africa’s Seaweed Resources
View the documentAcknowledgement
View the documentReferences

Activities which Enhanced the Success of the Seaweed Farming Trials

(31) The project funds enabled us:

· to send three Fisheries Officers to the GENU Products Eucheuma Farm at Cebu, Philippines for practical training on seaweed farming and crop management;

· to write a seaweed Farming Manual, in Kiswahili, which was intended to give the villagers some understanding about the biology, ecology, potential uses, and the farming of seaweeds;

· to establish three pilot Eucheuma farms, one at Kigombe (South of Tanga), one at Fundo Island (Pemba), and the third at Fumba Bay (Zanzibar), managed by the Philippine-trained fisheries officers.

(32) The three pilot seaweed farms, as it were, served as replicates in biological experiments, and also as demonstration plots on how seaweed cultivation is done.

(33) In the course of time, it was realised that if the installation of seaweed farms is not done properly, and at the right place, the entire set-up can be devastated by ocean currents and waves, especially during the seasons characterised by strong monsoon winds. But farms located in lagoon habitats, which are protected by extensive coral reefs, or by offshore islands, normally withstand the shocks and hazards imposed upon by monsoonal currents.

(34) In the end, it was concluded, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the Eucheuma seaweed adapts well to mariculture operations, when grown on nylon lines supported by mangrove stakes. From 100g plantings, one can obtain 1.0 to 1,5 kg, wet weight, within only four weeks, (Yes, within only one months), which is harvestable size. This is an exceptionally fast growth rate. And I am saying so, because in the Philippines, the seaweed takes as many as three months to attain that biomass.

(35) What needed to be done next, was what some people call propaganda. But I wouldn’t call it so. I would call it good news about what was achievable in Tanzania. And we held several radio interviews with Mr. Jacob Tesha of Radio Tanzania, as well as with Nelly Mkeremi. Some of you might remember the radio talks about seaweeds. Maybe some of the members of this audience ignored all that we had said. But not everyone ignored the facts that we had presented.

(36) A few business entrepreneurs came to the University of Dar es Salaam, to see me on the matter, and we advised them to take a risk, and to start small. At that time we did not have a system of granting venture capital to individuals who want to try new things. We approached agencies such as UNEP, and DANIDA, requesting them to support these pioneers on seaweed farming in Tanzania. But we were advised that the individuals had to channel their applications through Government. And that did not work, partly because of the policy that was prevailing then. We linked them to the leading seaweed processing companies of the North (especially the FMC Corporation in the U.S.A.), and they were assured of a good market for all the produce from their farms, if they ventured into seaweed farming. We also encouraged the GENU Products Inc. to consider the possibility of establishing seaweed farms in Tanzania. By doing so the companies, collectively, would get involved in bringing investments into Tanzania, in creating new job opportunities, and assisting to propagate the news that seaweed farming is a worthwhile undertaking in our coastal waters.

(37) In the end, some entrepreneurs made a decision to take a risk, and made investments towards the establishment of seaweed farms in Tanzania. The companies also helped the poor villagers with a free supply of nylon lines forsetting up their farms. But actually, the supply of the nylon lines was not quite free, since the companies, in the end, recovered some of their money for the nylon lines, when purchasing the Eucheuma biomass from the villagers for export.