Media visit to seaweed demo farming in South Sulawesi

Media visit to seaweed demo farming in South Sulawesi

To strengthen its engagement and relationship with the media, the UN Communications Group, in collaboration with the UN Resident Coordinator, Anita Nirody, invited five national journalists to visit one of UN projects in South Sulawesi.

The first visit to Takalar Regency in South Sulawesi on 17 July 2018 involved the UN Resident Coordinator, together with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Representative for Indonesia and Timor Leste, Esam Alqararah. This visit aimed to give the media an opportunity to acquire first-hand insights on UN projects in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project demonstrated UN support to sustainable livelihoods through innovative seaweed farming. Seaweed farming is a massive aquaculture industry in Indonesia, representing 37% of the world’s seaweed production. UNIDO’s SMART-Fish project enables farmers to grow seaweed in accordance with global standards, to improve quality and income. One of 500 farmers who live in Ujung Baji, Takalar Regency, appreciated how, after standards were improved, his production drastically increased from 500 kilograms to 1.5 tons per harvest with gross earnings of 10.5 million Rupiah (US$725) each harvest.

Women play a critical role in seaweed farming including hands-on activities as well as small-scale processing to produce value-added products from seaweed – in addition to selling dried seaweed as raw material for industrial processing. Currently female farmers in Takalar regency have produced 17 seaweed-based food products such as noodles, juice, syrup, jam and biscuits.