But huge-scale seaweed harvesting only began in earnest all over the yr 2000, when CSMCRI certified the technologies to PepsiCo, who had been fascinated in applying seaweed not as a food stuff crop but to generate carrageenan, a compound used in food items, cosmetics and sector. “This heralded business seaweed cultivation in India,” suggests Eswaran.
PepsiCo sold its seaweed fields in 2008, which had been then eventually purchased by AquAgri, a single of the very first Indian companies to enterprise into business seaweed cultivation. The organization now has 18 seaweed cultivation web pages in Tamil Nadu, giving employment to 650 fisherfolk, predominantly women.
Muthulakshmi Namburajan has been harvesting and cultivating seaweed for a overall of 38 several years. Although she used to devote additional time in further h2o collecting seaweed, she now avoids the rougher waves as the get the job done is physically demanding. “I desire becoming shut to the shores paying my time catering to the rafts,” she states. From these bamboo rafts, exactly where seaweed grows alongside ropes anchored by stones, Namburajan harvests, dries and cleans up to 50kg (110lb) of seaweed a working day.
The surge in seaweed cultivation has experienced a good socio-financial effect on the coastal communities in India, specifically among girls seaweed farmers, aiding them enhance their financial independence.