GIFA member and seaweeds caretaker Robert Perol Sr. shows off the planted seaweeds for the techno demo farm in Green Island Bay.
ROXAS, PALAWAN – It was a hopeful experience for the Green Island Fisherfolk Association (GIFA) after the first batch of the Green Island Bay techno demo farm’s harvest has successfully brought positive returns.
GIFA, one of the beneficiaries of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) under Global Environment Facility (GEF), started planting in early 2018 with 500kg of seedlings with five modules for their nursery but was unfortunately damaged from sea turtles and unfavorable weather condition.
The group immediately replanted seedlings and with the support from the association and tight monitoring of caretakers, they were able to harvest and sell 2,221kg of seaweed propagules and 360kg of dried seaweeds, and 1,000kg and 149kg in the middle of the year, respectively.
On their first batch’s harvest, GIFA earned around P45,000, a promising income but still projected to increase once the subproject has formally started its operations. In December 2018, the association replanted seaweeds and made around P65,000 earnings.
The association is currently growing 4,000kg of seaweeds from the 500kg of seaweeds propagules that they started with. They already have a service boat, assisted by PRDP-GEF, while the floating dryer is yet to be constructed. With these new materials for planting, the group is continuing its techno demo farm as part of their training while benefiting its members.
Likewise, the association was able to provide propagules to the Johnson Island Fisherfolks Association, another group under the PRDP-GEF with a seaweeds production enterprise.
Moreover, GIFA acknowledged their women members’ unceasing efforts for this project. These women were engaged in tying of the propagules, monitoring, harvesting, drying, packaging, and selling.
GIFA, a registered organization in the Department of Labor and Employment, was organized in 2015 with 324 members. It was created with the goal of managing and operating programs that will promote, develop and sustain the natural resources, coastal and biodiversity conservation in support of its Marine Protected Area (MPA). Also, it aims to help end the illegal fishing activities around Green Island Bay.