‘Ocean products part of Z’bar economic vision’

07Jan 2022
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
‘Ocean products part of Z’bar economic vision’

FARMING of ocean products is part of strategies for the 2050 Development Vision that aims to improve the economic wellbeing of farmers in the blue economy sector, the government has declared.

Said Omar Shaaban, the Zanzibar Minister for Trade and Industrial Development, made this observation when launching the sea cucumber farming project at Fungurefu, in Unguja North Region, noting that the government was focusing on sea products like sea cucumbers, seaweeds and crabs to improve incomes from the sector.

President Hussein Ali Mwinyi has set this priority in developing the people of Zanzibar in the blue economy and deep sea fishing, he elaborated, affirming that through Covid-19 response funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government has finalised plans for the construction of 100 ponds.

The sea cucumber farming facilities will be used by people in Unguja and Pemba districts, installed with modern infrastructures and sea cucumber fingerlings, he said, urging farmers of sea products to grab these opportunities as sea cucumbers earn substantial incomes from their high prices in international markets.

Dr Abood Suleiman Jumbe, the Fisheries and Blue Economy permanent secretary said the sea cucumber trade is of long date but in Zanzibar it was introduced in the 1960s. It was more traditionally practiced with buyers being the Chinese community in the country, he told the gathering.

With expansion of the sea cucumber trade in markets like Singapore and China, activist organisations for environmental preservation came up with new strategies of sustainable sea cucumber farming, he stated.

Sea cucumber farming began in recent decades in 2011 at Fukuchani in Unguja North Region where people in the area noticed its benefits, he pointed out, alluding to sea cucumber farming as paying over 100,000/- for one kilogram in foreign markets.

He praised farmers of sea cucumbers in Uzi, Unguja Ukuu, Bungi and Mungoni islands for Unguja along with Makombeni and Mtambwe in Pemba for displaying ability in this activity.

Some farmers mentioned challenges they face as lack of education on the work, start-up capital, usable roads, farm security and appropriate farming equipment.