Women Seaweed Farmers (Kenyans and the Blue Economy)

The Kibuyuni Seaweed Self-Help Group in Shimoni, Kwale County, Kenya, was established by the community in 2010 after 2 years of trials of seaweed farming conducted by the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI). Although this community was selected for the project for geographical reasons, it has succeeded due to community solidarity and leadership. They have found value-added uses for the seaweed they raise such as food, soap and shampoo, as well as selling directly to processors. Earned income resulting from selling the harvested seaweed has changed their families’ lives for the better, including the ability to fix houses and to pay for their children’s education. Initially, a  Kg of seaweed sold at the price of KES 9 (100 KES = 1 USD), thereafter the price increased to KES 15 and has currently almost tripled to KES 25. According to these women seaweed farmers, in addition to its monetary value, seaweed is also important due to its medicinal value. In today’s program, scientist and international seaweed diplomat Dr. Uku talks about both the science and the politics around the so-called Blue Economy, and some of its benefits and risks.

Featured speakers are seaweed farmers Mwanasiti Mkuu and Tima Mohammed Yusi and Dr. Jacqueline Uku, senior research scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute in Mombasa. This program was produced by Diana Wanyonyi for the Womens International News Gathering Service (WINGS). The WINGS series producer is Frieda Werden. Kibuyuni. Seaweed Farmers can be found on Facebook.

WINGS has been covering the global women’s movement and related issues since 1986  WINGS may be contacted at [email protected].


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