Prospects and Constraints of Seaweeds Farming along the West and South Coasts of Zanzibar
Seaweed farming is among the strategies adopted by the coastalcommunities in Zanzibar in an attempt to alleviate poverty. The study involvedseaweed farmers from the south coast of Unguja. Six shehia3 were purposefulselected and they included Paje, Bwejuu, Jambiani in the south and Bweleo,Dimani and Fumba for the west. Eighty seaweed farmers were randomly selectedfor interview. In addition five businessmen and some government officials who aresupposedly to be working with seaweed farmers were interviewed. Various PRAtools including structured questionnaire, check list, focus group discussion anddirect observation were used to collect the data.It was found out that majority of respondents were aged between 32-55 and 67%were married. 78% have been working as seaweed farmers for the past 6 years andmostly they produce spinosum type of seaweed. Selling of seaweeds is doneindividually and normally they sell semi-processed seaweeds. 90.2% of therespondents showed dissatisfaction with the current offered price of Tsh. 250/kgalthough 74.4% reported positive improvement in their livelihood resulting fromengaging in seaweed farming. There was a general concern that the governmenthave rendered little support to seaweed farmer especially in pricing and provisionof inputs and to a large extent the price is controlled by few private buyers. Despitethese challenges many women have opted to continue with the enterprise owing toabsence of alternative income generating activities.
Key words: Seaweed farming, constraints, Zanzibar, marketing, pricing