Wednesday, September 30, 2009

8th Seaweed Festival honored Sitangkai

Tawi-Tawi Provincial Government hosted the 8th Seaweed Festival coincided with the celebration of the 36th Founding Anniversary of the province dubbed as “Kamahardikaan Tawi-Tawi” last September 24 to 27, 2009.

Tawi-Tawi Gov. Sadikul Sahali noted that they have exerted more efforts in the preparations of this year’s event compared to what they have done in the previous years. Moreover, he confirmed that a larger number of local and foreign tourists witnessed this year’s festival together with the seaweed farmers from the municipality of Sitangkai and nearby Sibutu.

Seventy percent of the country’s seaweed production is in Sitangkai where at least 4,000 metric tons of dried seaweed produced monthly and seaweed farming in the town covers about 5,000 hectares with 60,000 more hectares awaits farmers to plant high-quality seaweed.

Gov. Sahali also shared that good farming methods and infusion of new technology helps them to produce good quality seaweed, and local farmers will have the power to dictate the market price and value of their dried seaweed product.

Global prices of seaweed still remains very volatile, as he admitted that seaweed farmers are still trapped in poverty despite the strong demand for their product in the global market.

To further develop the industry, Sahali said seaweed farmers were recently organized into cooperatives to overcome their fears that the industry may be overtaken by other major seaweed exporters’ countries, like Indonesia.


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