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Seaweed farming developed for ecotourism
Apr 23 2013 09:42:31 - Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/ - last read: Oct 26 2021 (3926 x)
The Indonesian Association of Seaweed (ARLI) said it was developing a seaweed farming area in Pandawa, Nusa Dua, as an ecotourism destination.

The association’s chairman, Safari Azis, said on Sunday that the association was working together with a local farmers’ group to promote the daily activities of the local farmers as a unique attraction for tourists.

“Bali, especially Nusa Dua, is one of the prime areas in Indonesia to cultivate seaweed. Our country is also the largest producer of Euchema cottonii seaweed. This encourages us to further develop this sector and preserve it amid massive tourism development.”

Late last year, the association signed an agreement with the local farmers’ group concerning the idea. At the same time, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sharif Cicip Sutardjo, also declared Pandawa was a marine tourism area.

Seaweed farming in the area has been threatened by the massive development of tourism facilities, with much property construction taking place in the area, especially around Geger Beach.

Azis said the government should manage the area to protect seaweed farmers from being expelled from their lands.

“During the last couple of years, tourism development at Geger Beach has been very fast, as proven by the sprawling construction of hotels and other tourism facilities. This has threatened the survival of seaweed farming.”

These developments have also caused the number of seaweed farmers to decrease to only around 30 families, who have to go further to find vacant land to dry their seaweed in the sun.

Azis regretted that seaweed production in the area had decreased, as the commodity had been a major contributor to the economy of coastal people.

“The local administration has to design a proper spatial plan to divide areas to be used for seaweed farming and for tourism development. Seaweed farming could be part of tourism, and it is crucial to protect the coastal environment from abrasion,” he said, adding that seaweed farming and tourism could support each other and be mutually beneficial.

He hoped the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry and local tourism institutions would develop seaweed-based ecotourism in the area.

The association will use its networking to help local farmers market their product more widely and generate a higher quality and quantity.

Starting this Monday, Bali will host the 21st International Seaweed Symposium at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center.

In the five-day symposium, participants from 50 countries will discuss the latest developments in the seaweed industry, including the newest technology and the seaweed business worldwide.

The symposium has been the foremost international symposium for individuals and organizations concerned with seaweed research and utilization.

Indonesia produced around 180,000 tons of seaweed last year, 169,000 tons of which was exported.

This year, the association set a target of a 200,000 tons production and an increase of 10 percent in
export volume.

Besides increasing production, the association and the ministry would also encourage farmers to learn how to process seaweed into products with added value.

The ministry’s data showed that seaweed could be processed into more than 500 end products, including food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.


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