The municipal government in Agutaya is eyeing the establishment of a seaweed nursery to help farmers in their livelihood.
Madrigal Larang, executive assistant to the office of Agutaya mayor Perla Bacuel, said around five hectares are being eyed as a potential site for the “tambalang” nursery that will be headed by the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO).
“Seaweeds farming ang isa sa kinabubuhay ng halos 80 percent na households sa Agutaya maliban sa fishing. Sa mga barangay ng Algeciras at Concepcion, halos 100 percent engaged sa seaweeds farming,” Larang said.
He said the nursery project aims to study the varieties of seaweeds that can be planted by the farmers in Agutaya for better production.
Larang said having the nursery in their town will help seaweed farmers participate in knowing which variety is appropriate for the season.
“Layunin na makapag-establish ng seaweeds nursery sa Agutaya para mapag-aralan lalo if ano ang mga napapanahong variety na puwedeng itanim para lalong mapaganda ang produksyon. Para din makapag-generate ng additional revenue,” he said.
Larang added that the projected was funded in 2015 from the 20 percent development fund of their municipality, but was not implemented by the MAO.
He said he had been tasked by the municipal government through an executive order to chair the implementation of the project. His task will start by helping the Sangguniang Bayan in crafting a policy that will protect the sector.
“Ako ang naatasan ng mayor bilang chair ng team through an executive order. Kasama sa purpose ng zoning namin ang matulungan ang mga legislator namin para mag-craft ng mga policy na angkop makakatulong at maprotektahan ang sector na ito, at funded ito by the 20% development fund noong 2015 pa, hindi lamang po ito na-implement,” he said.
He said there is a good market for seaweeds at present, and Manila and Cebu are their primary markets of dried tambalang.
But due to the weather, he said their seaweed production is affected. Farmers in Agutaya, he added, still have a lot to learn on how to grow their marine crops.
“Sa Manila at Cebu ang market. As in raw material lang, ito yong dried seaweeds at may mga buyer din dito. Sa ngayon medyo maganda ang presyo ng seaweeds sa market. Yon nga lang sa mga farmers, hindi maiwasan ang pagkakasakit ng seaweeds lalo na sa pabago-bagong panahon,” he added.