Lakshadweep launches seaweed farming units
13th Sep, 2021
After fisheries, coconut and tourism, the Lakshadweep administration has prioritized seaweed farming as the next major engine of economic development.
What is Seaweed farming?
- The simplest and most common cultivation method is to attach pieces of seaweed to rope lines or nets that are suspended in the sea, often near the coast.
- They hang on wooden stakes or on a floating wooden framework dug down into the seabed.
- Seaweeds are fast-growing algae.
- They utilise energy from sunlight, and take up nutrients and carbon dioxide from the seawater.
- Seaweed is consumed in several countries, especially in East Asian countries.
- It is also used in food additives, medicine, fertiliser and cosmetic goods and to combat beach erosion.
Key-highlights of the new initiative
- Launched under the guidance of premier marine research body Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) headquartered in Kochi.
- The initiative is in line with a study conducted by CMFRI which found immense potential for quality seaweeds in pollution-free lagoons for high-end utilisation like pharmaceuticals, food and nutraceuticals.
- It is planning a production of about 30,000 tonnes worth ?7.5 million in a year.
- In line with the new plan, a farming demonstration of seaweeds was launched in nine inhabited islands.
Important species to be involved in the plan
- Indigenous red algae
- Gracilaria edulis
- Acanthophora spicifera
What is need of farming?
Farming helps in more production
- Experimental farming was conducted in the islands of Kiltan, Chetlah Kadmath, Agatti and Kavaratti with good results.
- The island has a potential of producing nearly 30,000 tonnes of dry seaweed per year worth ?7.5 million by farming only 1% (200 ha) of its 21,290 ha of lagoon area (inhabited islands only).