Seaweed farmers advised to plant in season

Zabala explains that the purpose of the suitability mapping is to identify the towns suited for seaweed production in the province. (File photo)

Agriculturists have encouraged Palawan’s seaweed farmers to follow a planting calendar in order to avoid common diseases associated with the marine product.

A planting calendar for both agricultural and marine products is important for improved yield of both agricultural and marine products, an agriculturist said during a forum with fishermen, farmers and other agri practitioners.

Some other agricultural products have their existing cropping calendar, but not for other agricultural crops and for seaweeds, which is a marine resources. Seaweed is among the province’s major industry.

Agricultural technologist Joven Delgado of the city agriculture’s office said that the planting will guide farmers and fishers when is the most ideal time to plant their crops and marine products.

Speaking to fisherfolks, Delgado said that there is no existing planting calendar yet for seaweeds thus, planters are not yet guided on the proper time of the year when they need to plant.

Delgado said that planting seaweeds during inappropriate periods can make them vulnerable to pests known as “ice-ice.”

Ice-ice is a disease condition of seaweed. Ice-ice is caused when changes in salinity, ocean temperature and light intensity cause stress to seaweeds, making them produce a “moist organic substance” that attracts bacteria in the water and induces the characteristic “whitening” and hardening of the seaweed’s tissues.

But by having a planting calendar, the growers can then select a particular period so that seaweeds will not be infected with disease.

Delgado however said a study needs to be conducted so that the planting calendar will be established.

The Cropping Calendar supports farmers in taking appropriate production and marketing decisions for their crops. It enhances local production by making available timely information on various stages of crop development that guide farmers and fishers specifically on decisions pertaining to input usage.

Delia Martinez, agriculturist II of the city agriculture’s office, she said that there are also fishermen and seaweed growers who used fertilizers for seaweeds which is not advisable. She said that there are also those who harvested their seaweeds during the 20th day which is still premature, because seaweeds should reached at least 45 days in order for it to become mature.

Ang seaweeds ay matampuhin kailangan mo na nililinis yan araw araw, kaya kailangan dyan ay skills enhancement on planting,” Martinez said.

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