ZANZIBAR: THE Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) has urged government authorities and development partners to prioritise seaweed farmers by giving them support so that they grow and increase production.
FAWE Projects Coordinating Officer in Zanzibar, Ms Winnifred Yatuwa Mamawi, made the plea during a visit to the seaweed farmers in Unguja South region.
The FAWE implements a project to economically empower women in rural areas, by supporting the seaweed farmers to eradicate poverty.
“We have chosen Central and South districts of the Unguja South Region because these are areas facing challenges in farming including seaweed, vegetables and fishing. Since these activities are mostly done by women, we have to support them,” said Ms Mamawi.
She explained that the challenges include low production and unreliable market for their produce, and that FAWE offers skills building and collaborating with other respective institutions to overcome the challenges.
“This project will provide them with various training, including seaweed cultivation and processing, to the market. We provide them with swimming skills so that they can manage to grow seaweed in in deep sea,” she said.
Project Manager, Ms Nadra Subeit Ali, said 1,000 participants are expected to benefit from the project, out of which15 percent are men.
“We have given priority to women because the aim of the project is to empower women economically and we have included men because they will lead in helping women in their movement,” she said, noting that the project which started in September 2023 will last for two years.
Cooperative societies Officer for the Central District Ms Hasina Suleiman Rashid commended FAWE for the project, and noted they were happy that the central district has been selected for the project.
Mr Mohamed Saleh Mohamed, one of the male beneficiaries, thanked FAWE for introducing the project aiming at solving challenges they face including poor farming skills.
In addition, he proposed to the government to establish special centres for selling seaweed and increase its price from the current 1,000/- to more than 5,000/- as a motivation to seaweed farmers to grow more seaweed.