Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

A Comparative Economic Analysis of Two Seaweed Farming Methods in Tanzania

A Comparative Economic Analysis of Two Seaweed Farming Methods in Tanzania

The national Seaweed Development Strategic Plan recently adopted by the Tanzanian government calls for expansion of seaweed farming which has proven to be an important income generator for coastal communities and an export earner for the country. The plan calls for the expansion of farming of Kappaphycus alvarezii, locally called cottonii. Although cottonii is the higher priced variety, it is more environmentally sensitive, leading to disease problems and dieoffs. The Sustainable Coastal Communities and Ecosystems (SUCCESS) program has piloted a deep-water floating line method of cottonii farming in Mlingotini village of Bagamoyo District to test whether this method can reduce die offs but still be an economically viable option for farmers. A comparative economic analysis of two different methods for farming cottonii –– the traditional peg and line off-bottom method and the deep-water floating line method –– is presented in this paper. It compares the productivity and economic returns of the two different methods for farming as well as compares the financial returns of buyer-dependent and independent seaweed farmers.

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