BONGAO, TAWI-TAWI (Darwin Wee / 27 Jul)
Gov. Sadikul Sahali said the project, a joint effort between the Canadian government and Tawi-Tawi, will further boost the seaweed industry. Tawi-Tawi is one of the major exporters of seaweeds in the country.
He said the plant would be put up in the
"This is a dream come true to the province. Sitangkay, which produces about 35% of the total seaweed production of the
The Canadian International Development Agency, he said, will fund the construction of the seaweed processing plant.
Ambassador Peter Sutherland, of
Sahali said the processing plant will have the capabilities to process about 90% of the total production of seaweed in the province.
"Seaweeds farmers and producer in this province will no longer have
to ship their seaweed to buying stations as far as Zamboanga,
The project is expected to stabilize the price of the raw and dried seaweeds in the country.
"Currently, the price of seaweed is being dictated by the middlemen and the buying stations. They always based the price of seaweed on its production. If there's abundant harvest of seaweeds, the price will very cheap and this greatly affect the income of seaweed farmers," Sahali said.
The project will also include the upgrade of seaweed farming in Tawi-Tawi; the putting up of seaweed nurseries and post harvest facilities, and the purchase of power generators that will supply electricity to the processing plant.
Tawi-Tawi produced some 300,000 metric tons of raw, dried seaweed in 2005. However, this did not reflect the accurate volume productions of seaweed in the province as an estimated 40% of the seaweed production are being smuggled to neighboring countries, such as
Tawi-Tawi has about 35,000 hectares planted to seaweed and an estimated 26,000 hectares are still untapped or available as potential site for expansion.
At present, the local seaweed industry has been the major source of livelihood in the province with more than 30,000 farmers directly involved in seaweed production.