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Agriculture

Seaweed farming provides good income for displaced woodworkers

- J. A. Rimando -

KOLAMBUGAN, Lanao del Norte , Philippines -  – When the multinational company Kolambugan Plywood Factory in this coastal town closed shop some two decades ago, many of its workers were forced to engage in fishing and farming.

But not a few of them could hardly make both ends meet in their new endeavor. So they tried seaweed farming which was then starting to emerge in the area.

Today, through the help of the Lanao del Norte provincial government and the technical assistance of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the local farmers and fishermen have slowly but surely found a gold mine in their new occupation.

Under the aggressive leadership of two-termer Gov. Khalid Q. Dimaporo, the local government, in partnership with DOST, has implemented the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Program (CLEEP) for seaweed farming in the coastal towns of Kolambugan, Tubod, Maranding, Lala, Bacolod and Karomatan.

For instance, in Kolambugan’s seaside barangay of Manga, at least half of 75 families initially became seaweed growers who received their seedlings from the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) in the capital town of Tubod.

The positive impact of PAO’s initial seaweed distribution in Manga prompted other local families to troop to Tubod to secure their own seedlings even as similar moves were later taken by other villagers from other coastal towns until the PAO could hardly cope with the demand for seaweed seedlings.

Dimaporo – who learned his political ABC from his veteran congressman father Abdullah Dimaporo (son of the late Lanao del Sur political kingpin Ali Dimaporo) and his former governor-mother Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo – said the DOST has allocated close to P1 million for the expansion of the local seaweed farming project to more than 300 new family beneficiaries.

The 35-year-old provincial executive said the PAO has scheduled the distribution of more seaweed seedlings until the end of December to recipient families in barangays Simbucao, Mukas, Tabigue, Manga, Pigcarangas and Tanguiguiron in Tubod and Lala.

Each barangay will also receive initially 100 kilos of seaweed seedlings and two rolls of soft ties, Dimaporo said, adding that each village will further receive later two solar dryers under the CLEEP.

Manga barangay chairman Mercidio Tulabing, on behalf of his colleagues, thanked Gov. Dimaporo for his all-out efforts to uplift the social and economic life of his constituents through the propagation of the seaweed industry in this Muslim-Christian province.

Tulabing expects that, with the support of local governments and DOST, seaweed growing will eventually become a “sunshine” industry not only in the Lanao provinces but also in other coastal communities of Mindanao.

ABDULLAH DIMAPORO

ALI DIMAPORO

BACOLOD AND KAROMATAN

COMPREHENSIVE LIVELIHOOD AND EMERGENCY PROGRAM

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DIMAPORO

IMELDA QUIBRANZA-DIMAPORO

LANAO

SEAWEED

TUBOD

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