EVALUATION OF FACTORS INFLUENCING SEAWEED FARMING IN JAMBIANI VILLAGE IN UNGUJA ISLAND, ZANZIBAR
ALI, NASSRA ISSA
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Commercial seaweed farming in Zanzibar started in 1989 with a steady increase over the years. The benefits of seaweed notwithstanding, its production has generally declined. This study sought to find out the factors that have contributed to this decline. In order to achieve this, the study sought to assess environmental factors including temperature, salinity, pH, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen and socio-economic conditions affecting seaweed farming. Primary data was collected from the respondents who constituted seaweed farmers, local leader and seaweed buyers using questionnaires and unstructured interview guides. Environmental data was collected using YS1556 Multiple Parameter equipment while secondary data was collected from literature review. The data was collected during the South-East Monsoon season between July and August 2017, where average temperature was about 290C favourable for seaweed farming. The responses from interview and questionnaires were edited, coded and classified into response categories and analyzed with the help of the Statistical Package for Social science (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel. Analyzed data was presented in figures and tables. The study revealed that environmental conditions of the farms were favourable for seaweed farming although some factors negatively affected seaweed farming in Jambiani village. These included inadequate work force as the population of seaweed farmers comprised of elderly people above 46 years and constituted about 42.6% (29). A small number of farmers, about 7.35% (5) worked in organized groups. About 64.7% (44) of farmers had other livelihood options for income generation a part from seaweed farming. A low price of seaweed was the most important factor that contributed to highest decline of about 98.6% in seaweed farming. Therefore, seaweed industry should encourage genuine investors, who can support the farmers and offer sustainable prices for the seaweed harvests.