Seaweed farmers in Leyte receive P5-M assistance from BFAR

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TACLOBAN CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Region 8 distributed fiberglass boats and propagules totaling P5 million on Thursday, Nov. 3, to seaweed farmers in Dawahon Island, Bato, Leyte, the seaweed capital of Eastern Visayas.

They received 93 boats with engines and complete accessories and seaweed propagules worth P500,000.

A boat will be shared by three farmers to assist a greater number of beneficiaries. Each recipient received 100 kilos of propagules.

To date, 220 hectares have been planted and replanted with propagules by 578 fisherfolk on the island.

The BFAR said some farmers have started selling their produce to consolidators and buyers in Leyte and Cebu.

Ruel Inoc, one of the farmers, disclosed that during the ‘’habagat’’ or southwest monsoon season, he earns more than P200,000 per month selling green algae at P40 per kilogram.

Inoc and other officials of Dawahon encouraged the members of the association of seaweed farmers in the island to make the most out of the interventions from the bureau to recuperate seaweed production devastated by tropical cyclones and significantly contribute to the fisheries production in the region.

"We always remind our seaweed farmers to give importance to the interventions given by the government through the BFAR. We should not always depend on BFAR, and also continue to work hard to help ourselves," Inoc urged.

According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a propagule is a structure (such as a cutting, a seed, or a spore) that propagates a plant.

Dawahon was battered by ‘’Odette’’ last December and ‘’Paeng’’ in October. The island sustained P216 million in damage from the two tropical cyclones.