It is good time for the sea weed farmers in the Palk Bay region with processing units and factories to line up the coastal region for proper post harvest processing of the weeds. The Fisheries Department of Tamil Nadu has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three companies for processing the sea weed that the farmers produce between Ramanathapuram and Pudukkottai.
Tamil Nadu produces about 4,000 tonnes of sea weed and 1,500 tonnes of natural seaweed annually. As per the MoU, an investment of Rs 21 crore would be done to set up factories and processing units in the Palk bay region. The government intends to get an average price for the sea weed and also to ensure quality.
On the occasion, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that many fishers showed interest in sea weed cultivation but they were having many issues such as difficulty in getting buyer, lack of sea weed processing units and other issues. However, he said that the situation would change with the MoU signed with the companies.
He also mentioned that sea weed collection started in the state way back in 1966 in the Ramathapuram district. He also said Ramanathapuram, Pudukkottai and Thoothukudi districts had good resource of natural seaweed. About 2200 families from 18 villages have been actively involved in the collection of sea weed he added.