Solomon Islands is now the biggest single producer of non-edible seaweed in the Pacific region, Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources John Maneniaru told Parliament, Wednesday.
The Minister was responding to a question raised by the Member of Parliament for North West Choiseul Hon Sandakabatu about the number of seaweed farmers supported by the government and the form of support they received during yesterday’s question and answer time in Parliament.
Hon Maneniaru said, the total support given to seaweed farmers over the past three years included the following:
· Training of 609 seaweed farmers and 25 seaweed buying agents;
· writing and distribution of a training manual for all seaweed farmers;
· Assessment of 15 new seaweed farming sites and development of another 15 new seaweed farms; and
· Provision of seaweed farming material including canoes, outboard motors and water tanks to seaweed farmers.
The Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources added that the total production of seaweed in 2014 was 1,520mt which is worth about SBD$5.6 Million to seaweed farmers.
He said, “This level of production now makes Solomon Islands the biggest producer of non-edible seaweed in the Pacific region, having overtaken Kirabati.”
Meanwhile, when asked by Hon Sandakabtu about the progress made so far in milkfish farming in Solomon Islands, Hon Maneniaru said though still at the infant stage, there is increasing interest in the farming of this fish species by both individuals and communities.
He said to date there are 41 milkfish farmers in the country and out of this figure, 20 are from Malaita Province, 10 from Guadalcanal Province and the remainder from other provinces.
– PM’s Press Secretariat