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Tanzanians Turn to Seaweed Farming

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posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 03:36 AM

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.

Global business

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.

The trouble with this is that it won't take long for more to take part in this to benefit themselves and soon after the major monopolies will move in and the price will drop as with most other commercial venture of a similiar vein.

So these poor farmers will be back to where they started from but its great to see them have a go and to try and turn their fortunes around by lateral thinking in agricultural methods.


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