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These farmers have hitherto eked out a living earning a few dollars a month selling fish and fruit; they are not going to get rich on seaweed, but it may help them to ease them out of poverty.
The seaweed takes about two months to grow.
When it is harvested, it is laid out in the sun to dry.
Ali Hamadi is one of the main seaweed buyers on Pemba.
His firm dries out the seaweed, packs it and sends it for export around the world.
Men in Pemba
Seaweed growers have to compete with farmers from across the world
He pays farmers about seven US cents a kilogramme.
In a good harvest, farmers can make about $7 in two months.
Because Mr Hamadi has supplied the materials to the farmers, they are obliged to sell to him.
"Production is too low and sometimes there is problem in the sea," he says.