25 Mar 2013

Demand for Fiji seaweed outstripping supply

3:42 pm on 25 March 2013

The organisation charged with managing Fiji's seaweed exports says demand from the Philippines, Korea and China is outstripping supply.

Seaweed is farmed on lines in shallow water and the industry in Fiji is concentrated in the central and eastern divisions.

The sales and marketing manager for the Agriculture and Marketing Authority says Fiji has monthly orders from the Philippines for 36 tonnes.

But Alivereti Yaya says not enough seaweed farmers are running commercial operations because they rely on government assistance.

"To be able to start farming the commodities even though it's in high demand from overseas markets - that is the problem that we're currently facing, the lack of interest from farmers to develop their own farms commercially."

Alivereti Yaya says the demand for Fiji seaweed is high because of the pristine waters in which it is grown.