SOLOMONS SEAWEED FARMERS COMPLAIN

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Oct. 30) – Seaweed farmers from Wagina in Choiseul Province claim that the current price of seaweed bought or sold in the Solomon Islands is very low compared to the price offered in other Pacific countries.

The farmers expressed their concerns at a meeting with the President of the Solomon Islands I-Kiribati Association (SIIKA), Dominic Tata, at Cookson village.

They are also unhappy that their only buyer, a Honiara businessman, sells old and new bags at between 50 cents and one dollar, while the nets and plastics used in seaweed drying cost four dollars per meter.

The farmers says when these prices are compared with the cost of materials require for the drying of seaweed, it is indeed very expensive.

The President and his Secretary Reverend Burabeti Tabe are currently in Wagina holding meetings with three communities to explain the work of SIIKA.

The farmers called on the Association to take the matters up with the Central Government to review the price with the aim of increasing it.

They also want the Government to give equal opportunity to other businessmen who may want to buy and export the product to allow for competition.

There are more than 300 seaweed farmers in Wagina.

November 1, 2004

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp.: www.sibconline.com.sb

 

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