Although half a decade have already passed following the devastation of super typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, limited studies on the status of the seaweed aquaculture industry have been reportedly published, specifically on the gendered differences of the key players in the production activities. The purpose of this empirical research is to present the different characteristics of producers; technology used in farming; gendered differences in labor; sources of propagules; and yield, productivity and income of seaweed farmers in five rural-poor coastal communities in Eastern Samar, the Philippines.
The data were gathered through a combination of fieldworks and desk research and were analyzed using a value chain and gender needs assessment analyses. A four-part, self-made guide questionnaire was used as an instrument. The data were presented and analyzed using thematic analysis.
The results demonstrate that the modified monoline method is the technology used by the seaweed farmers. Propagules are usually supplied for free by the BFAR or bought from neighboring villages. A monthly income of PhP 19,500.00 (US$393.00) can be generated from seaweed farming. Division of labors in most of the seaweed production processes is equally distributed between men and women with help from their boys-and-girls children. Increasing further the number of lines per seaweed grower to at least 25 will enable them to go beyond the poverty threshold, based on 2015 figures of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
This study provides additional empirical data to substantiate and prove that women’s active involvement in seaweed production provides them an important opportunity to earn some income for themselves and their families and contribute to livelihood and enterprise development in their communities.
This study is helpful in constructing an Industry Development Plan to serve as the Seaweed Industry Road Map for progress, thereby, helping men and women seaweed growers especially in rural-poor coastal areas.
Aside from being conducted in a post-disaster context, the data and recommendations presented in this paper contribute to the body of knowledge that government and non-government institutions, private individuals and groups and the academia could use in understanding the economic, commercial and community development contributions, gaps and constraints in producing seaweed in rural-poor coastal communities.
This paper serves as an in-depth empirical study reflective of the post-disaster, current gendered labor practices, culture, knowledge and attitude of the seaweed producers in the Philippines. More importantly, this study was conducted by a local researcher, thereby reflecting empirical findings and recommendations that are strategic, gender and culture-sensitive and timely and relevant.
Cuaton, G.P. (2019), "A post-disaster gendered value chain analysis on seaweed farming after Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 508-524. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-11-2018-0091
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