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Thursday, April 25, 2024

DA-BFAR 6’s SAAD program spurs economic growth for seaweed farmers

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To bolster the local seaweed industry and provide a sustainable alternative livelihood, the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional Office VI (DA-BFAR 6), in collaboration with the Local Government Unit of Caluya, distributed seaweed farm implements and gillnets to seaweed farmers in the Island Barangay of Sibato, Caluya in the Province of Antique.

Members of the Sibato Islanders Fisherfolks Association (SIFA), a partner-beneficiary of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Phase II Program, acquired 35 sets of seaweed farm implements and gillnets, including polyethylene ropes, ribbon twines, monofilament nylons, floaters, and sinkers. This intervention aims to promote the sustainable cultivation of seaweeds while providing an alternative livelihood during lean months.

SIFA is expected to harvest 14 metric tons of seaweeds after two months of the culture period using the floating monoline method and generate an estimated gross income of P210,675.00.

Seaweed farmers commonly cultivate Eucheuma spinosum and E. cottonii

Sibato Island has 978 registered fisherfolk, accounting for 7 percent of the 13,917 registered fisherfolk in Caluya. Most of its population is engaged in seaweed farming and capture fishing as their primary sources of income. On the island, seaweed farmers commonly cultivate species such as Eucheuma spinosum and E. cottonii, with the latter having a higher value.

DA-BFAR 6 identified the municipality of Caluya as a partner-beneficiary of the SAAD program, recognizing its economic potential with the success of the program’s Phase I. The SAAD program aims to alleviate poverty among the marginalized sectors of agriculture and fisheries through holistic fishery projects and capacity-building activities and to increase fish production and uplift the socio-economic status of the fisherfolk.

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