The president of Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous Indian Ocean island nation belonging to Tanzania, has completed a visit to Indonesia that saw seaweed cultivation as a top priority of a trip focused on economy and trade.
President Ali Mohammed Shein visited a processing facility in West Java operated by Agar Swallow, a leading edible seaweed distributor across Asia and Europe. The firm’s director, Hendrico Soewardjono, said Agar Swallow is ready to help Zanzibar advance its seaweed industry, the Jakarta Globe reports.
That’s welcome news to Shein, who noted Zanzibar’s reliance on seaweed cultivation. The industry is threatened, however, by climate change because of rising temperatures that kill seaweed, pollution and other environmental risks. The losses disproportionately affect women, who have done most of Zanzibar’s seaweed farming for the past 30 years. Seaweed accounts for about 24,000 jobs there, and Zanzibar is the world’s third largest producer behind Indonesia and the Philippines.
Shein and his delegation also met with the Indonesian Business and Industry Association to discuss investment opportunities, and met with leaders of Indonesia’s farmers and fisheries. The guests from Zanzibar also toured Indonesian tourism industry sites, including hospitality training and education.
Image: Zanzibar Information Ministry