But big-scale seaweed harvesting only started in earnest about the yr 2000, when CSMCRI accredited the engineering to PepsiCo, who were being fascinated in utilizing seaweed not as a food crop but to produce carrageenan, a compound applied in foods, cosmetics and industry. “This heralded business seaweed cultivation in India,” states Eswaran.
PepsiCo bought its seaweed fields in 2008, which were then finally bought by AquAgri, a person of the to start with Indian companies to venture into professional seaweed cultivation. The agency now has 18 seaweed cultivation internet sites in Tamil Nadu, offering careers to 650 fisherfolk, predominantly females.
Muthulakshmi Namburajan has been harvesting and cultivating seaweed for a overall of 38 decades. While she utilised to expend extra time in deeper drinking water accumulating seaweed, she now avoids the rougher waves as the operate is bodily demanding. “I choose getting close to the shores expending my time catering to the rafts,” she claims. From these bamboo rafts, where seaweed grows together 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 favourable socio-economic affect on the coastal communities in India, specifically among the ladies seaweed farmers, serving to them boost their financial independence.