Maluku is one of the poorest province of Indonesia. In the year 2009, the poverty rate in the provice was about 28.3%, unemployment rate at 10.38% and economic growth was nearly 5.32%. In the Medium Term Development Plan (2008–2013) the Maluku Province Government (MPG) has planned to reduce the poverty rate to 12.5%, unemployment rate to 5.8% and economic growth to 8.5% by the year 2013 and development of seaweed sector has been identified as one of the main startegy by the MPG for achieving the target.
Seaweed is a major competitive commodity in the Maluku province for following reasons:
- It has ready market and can be sold outside the Maluku province due to good demand in the national and international markets, thereby increasing the circulation of money in the province.
- Technical know-how and inputs required to start seaweed cultivation is comparatively low and can be harvested after every six weeks.
- It can be cultivated round the year barring few months during east monsoon when productivity is relatively low.
- It can significantly contribute to the poverty reduction among the lower middle class of the coastal community.
- Nearly all the districts of Maluku province has enormous potential for growing seaweed and it can therefore, help in reducing regional disparities within the province.
Therefore, UNIDO-ILO Pelagandong Project and ILO-EAST project is jointly organizing a workshop to discuss with the stakeholders of seaweed in Maluku about the current status and way forward to achieve the target by the year 2014. Workshop will be organized on 27th January 2011 (Thursday) at Hotel Swisbell, Ambon and it is expected that about 40 people will participate and deliberate. Participants include representatives from various department of Maluku Provincial government like, but not limited to, BAPPEDA, Fishery, Industry and trade office and Cooperative office; financial institutions, NGOs, UN organizations, private sector, traders, processors, etc.
Main objectives of the workshop are:
- To deliberate on plan and milestones set by the Maluku Province Government for development of seaweed sector (vision, mission, work plan, etc.).
- To develop strategies and agree on future action plan for achieving targets and milestones.
- To discuss issues related to production, post harvest management, processing, marketing, access to finance, capacity building, etc.
- To identify key stakeholders and map their roles and responsibilities in development of seaweed sector in the Maluku Province.
- To strengthen coordination among stakeholders in the seaweed sector.
- To launch seaweed module developed by the Fishery Department for the ILO-EAST Project.
The workshop will be divided into two sessions. The first session include opening of the workshop and key note address from Bappeda and Fishery Office of the MPG, Chairman Indonesia seaweed Association, Chairman of Seaplant.net Foundation and Bank of Indonesia. Also the seaweed module developed by the ILO EAST Project will be launched during the opening session.
During the second session focus group discussions will be conducted under four main topics namely:
- Policy and regulations + capacity building.
- Issues related to production, processing and marketing.
- Issues related to finance and business development services.
- Institutional issues.