| || || Loumoli, Hikaione|
| || || An economic analysis of edible seaweed (Caulerpa recemosa) harvesting in some selected areas of Fiji|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Marine algae -- Economic aspects -- Fiji, Marine algae as food -- Fiji
Call No.: pac SH 390 .5 .F5 L68 2014
Copyright:Over 80% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: In-depth understanding of employment and income earning patterns of rural people helps find ways to alleviate rural poverty in the country. This study analyses employment and income generated by seaweed harvesting activity in Fiji. The specific objectives of the research were: (i) to study the personal characteristics of the seaweed harvesters; (ii) to estimate time spent by workers in seaweed harvesting; (iii) to estimate quantity of seaweed harvested by workers; (iv) to estimate income earned by workers from seaweed harvesting activity; (v) to understand the seaweed marketing system in Fiji, and (vi) to suggest policy measures to improve income and employment opportunities of the seaweed harvesters. Accordingly, a sample of 46 seaweed harvesting households was randomly selected from four villages in the coastal areas of Fiji. In addition five seaweed vendors of Lautoka market and 10 vendors of Suva market were interviewed to understand the seaweed marketing system in the area. The study found that in 46 sampled households, 68 members were engaged in seaweed harvesting. The average family size of seaweed harvesters was six of which one-fourth members were engaged in seaweed harvesting. Sixty one percent of the households had only one seaweed harvester in the family. On the whole 82 percent of seaweed harvesters were females and 19 percent were males. About 72 percent households had female seaweed harvesters only. Majority of the workers was in the age group 30-50 years. The most predominant age group for male workers was 50-60 years and for female harvesters was below 40 years. Seventy nine percent of workers had seaweed harvesting experience of more than ten years. Though seaweed harvesting this is the main economic activity for females, male workers have more years of experience in seaweed harvesting,. The older female workers take care of children and other household affairs. Three-fourths of all the seaweed harvesters were educated up to secondary level. Since seaweed harvesting alone did not provide full time employment to seaweed workers they pursued diverse income-earning activities. About one-fourths of total seaweed workers were engaged in seaweed harvesting only and the rest were doing combination of various activities. On average, workers spent nineteen hours per week on seaweed harvesting; male workers worked for 21 hours while female workers worked for about 19 hours per week in seaweed harvesting. The number of hours devoted to seaweed harvesting has a negative relation with the educational level of the worker. It was also noticed that as the number of workers increased in the family, the average number of hours spent by the worker on seaweed harvesting declined. Overall, the quantity of vi seaweed harvested per worker was 31 kilograms per week; 32 kg by a female worker and 29 kg by a male worker. Per worker average earning from seaweed harvesting was $54 per week. The regression analysis revealed that quantity of seaweed harvested as well as the per week seaweed income of the worker have positive relationship with both their years of experience and the number of hours spent on seaweed harvesting by the workers. Seaweed marketing business is dominated by women marketing agents. While seaweed harvesters received $1.50 per kg for their produce from the middle women the consumers bought it at $7 per kg in Lautoka market and $10 per kg in Suva market. Thus, seaweed harvesters’ share in the consumer’s dollar was only 15 cents in Suva market and 21 cents in Lautoka market. The net profit (margin over and above the marketing costs) of the middle women in marketing of seaweeds in Lautoka and Suva markets were 58 and 63 percent, respectively. The labour cost was the main component of marketing costs of seaweeds which accounted for about two-thirds of the total marketing cost. The another major cost component was the transportation cost which accounted for 24 percent cost of marketing in Suva market and 8 percent for marketing in Lautoka market which was located near to the seaweed harvesters' villages. It is recommended that there is a need for (i) sustaining income and employment of seaweed harvesters by better management of this open-access common property marine resource, (ii) more research to help enhance production of this neglected renewable resource, and (iii) wider community-level approach involving joint action of people to manage sustainable harvesting and optimal control of seaweed harvesting activities.