Seaweed farmers trading initiative led by women kicks off in Guiuan

The seaweeds enterprise project in Sitio converse, Barangay Ngolos is Oxfams very first communitylevel partnership with a people's organization  in the municipality of Guiuan. 

Words and Pictures: Maria Carolina Bello/Oxfam

  • Seaweed farmer from Eastern Samar dries his product (Photo: Maria Carolina Bello/Oxfam)

    Seeweeds farmer dry his product

    Before Haiyan, Sitio Converse has been known for its vast seaweed plantation and capacity to produce tons of dried products. 

  • Daisybel Tablan, a member of the seaweeds farmers association from Eastern Samar, shows off her seaweeds ready for harvest (Photo: Maria Carolina Bello/Oxfam)

    Converse Seaweed Farmers and Traders Association Secretary Daisybel Tablan shows off her seaweeds 

    "My husband and I used to earn 6,000 pesos for every  batch of dried harvest sold, but after Yolanda (Haiyan) our harvest and income went down to less than 2,000 pesos. Through OXFAM's assistance, we will be able to help our community  increase harvest, market our products and start a fund to expand our enterprise and use some of it to help us recover whenever disaster strikes." said Daisybel Tablan, Converse Seaweed Farmers and Traders Association Secretary.

  • Seaweed Farmers in Sitio Converse dry their harvests in the open under the sun. (Photo: Maria Carolina Bello/Oxfam)

    Seaweed Farmers in Sitio Converse dry their harvests in the open under the sun.

  • Seaweed farmers and Oxfam staff pose for a photo in front of the storage house for dried seaweeds (Photo: Maria Carolina Bello/Oxfam)

    In partnership with OXFAM the farmers have the opportunity to strengthen business planning, install sustainability and disaster preparedness and resiliency mechanism, promote shared household roles between women and men, promote local legislation and implementation of coastal laws especially to protect the seaweed farms, and strengthen community and local government collaboration in pulling together funding, technical and structural resources for holistic community development.