Lilia urges seaweed growers to practice quality control PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:18

District 2 Rep. Lilia Macrohon-Nuno on Wednesday called on seaweed growers in the Zamboanga Peninsula and its nearby areas to maintain the quality of their products in order to prevent the deterioration of the local seaweed export industry.

In a statement, Nuno said she was alarmed by recent reports of poor quality seaweed products being sold by the local aquaculture farmers and that some of the produce were being rejected by exporters due to poor quality.

Seaweed farming, once regarded as a promising new breed of business for small coastal communities in the Zamboanga Peninsula as well as those in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, has become a thriving local industry in the past several years with seaweeds being exported to China and Europe.

Nuño underscored the importance of maintaining the good quality of the local seaweed products to be able to sustain the business enterprise which has become the main source of livelihood among coastal communities in Western Mindanao.

The Zamboanga City congresswoman, who has made the promotion of livelihood opportunities among the poor as one of her advocacies, said she would call the attention of Department of Agriculture (DA) officials to look into the problem of allegedly deteriorating quality of local seaweed products.

Nuño said she received reports that a seaweed processing and exporting company had recently rejected the delivery of 20 containers of local seaweed products due to poor quality.

Nuño appealed to seaweed growers to strictly adhere to international-acceptable seaweed processing methods such as completing the 45-day harvesting period and mandatory drying requirement, and ensuring that the seaweeds do not get mixed with salt, dust and other unsanitary materials.

“We do not want the local agar-agar industry to deteriorate further. If they do not maintain their quality control standards, the local seaweeds industry could collapse soon and a lot of people will lose their source of livelihood,” Nuno said.

“I am appealing to all seaweed growers in the region to improve their farming and processing methods  so they can produce products that will be competitive in the world market,” Nuño pointed out. “Remember, the local seaweed industry is facing stiff competition from Indonesia, so we must put our act together and protect it.”