This report covers a preliminary phase of a larger study to develop seaweed farmer groups as preferred exporter and processor suppliers. Informal interviews were conducted with farmers, collectors and exporters in Gorontalo. This report briefly outlines seaweed production and the Gorontalo value chain. A brief outline of observations and conclusions identifies that: there are large areas suitable and underutilised for seaplant farming; that any development of the post-harvest sector needs to include improved production to ensure year round availability for processing; only basic agronomy practices are implemented; there is a reliance on one cultivar; there is a lack of financing options and accurate market information at the farmer and local collector level and a dependence on support from exporters and processors for development of seaplant farming. The author lists several interventions including: development of local nurseries and farmer financing programs; improvements in agronomic practices, cultivar selection and post-harvest treatment systems; farmer cooperatives to value add and operate with other value chain participants; linking farmer enterprises with progressive and supportive enterprises at subsequent value chain levels, domestically and globally.
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