Gonzaga to Expand Seaweed Production Areas

7 January 2014, at 12:00am

PHILIPPINES - With a good market for seaweed products in the region, the Local Government Unit (LGU) will expand its production areas in Gonzaga.

Jamelita Flores, Agricultural Technologist of the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist, said there is already an existing one hectare gracilaria techno-demo project in the area which recorded a production of 79 metric tons for 2013.

Aside from marketing the raw seaweeds for food, it is also being utilized in the production of seaweeds chips, noodles (canton), and pickles which are massively marketed to different outlets in the province.

“After test-planting revealed that seaweeds is feasible in the area, another one-fourth hectare will be utilized for the grow-out of gracilaria locally known here as ur-urmot,” Flores revealed.

She said they had already submitted a proposal to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) under its Anti-Poverty program to help the LGU to intensify its production.

This according to Flores is aside from the projects of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) given to this town.

Gracilaria is one of the abundant species of seaweeds in region 02 which is often served as salads and pickles but with the promotion of seaweeds as raw materials for bread, cookies, chips, noodles and other food products, its utilization has increased even to areas where there is no seaweeds production like the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.

Members of women’s organization in said provinces were trained how to process the gracilaria into pickles and chips through the technical assistance of the Integrated Fish Processing Laboratory (ILPF) of BFAR.

Seaweeds according to research is rich in iodine and iron while some species are also rich in protein, good source of vitamins A, B1, B12, C, E, K, calcium, folic acid, niacin, potassium and zinc.

Research likewise revealed that seaweeds promotes weight loss, cellulite control and detoxification, strengthens immune system, disperses phlegm accumulation, promotes dieresis, decrease risk of heart attack, lowers cholesterol and cleanse the body of toxic pollutants.