TEMPO Interactive, Surabaya:Malaysia has started to notice the potential of sea Weed in Banyuwangi, East Java.
A Malaysain food producer, PT Adabi, recently conduct a survey on sea weed (Eucheuma Cottoni) at the production center in Wongsorejo Sub-district, Banyuwangi.
According to the Section Head of Farmers Empowerment of Banyuwangi Maritime and Fisheries Office, Suryono Bintang Samudra, PT Adabi is interested in making Banyuwangi sea weed as raw material for food industry because of its high carrageenan content.
Carrageenan is extracted from seaweed to be used in food industry because its jelly characteristic thicken and stabilize the main ingredient.
Suyono said that if exports to Malaysia could be realized, he is optimistic that it will encourage Banyuwangi fisherman to cultivate seaweed.
Because from 4,100 hectare of seaweed potential, there is only 10 percent of land used with a production of 10-13 tons per day.
“Meanwhile, our production target is 20 ton,” he said.
The areas which become center of seaweed culture are Wongsorejo, Muncar and Pesanggaran subdistricts.
Meanwhile, seaweed from Banyuwangi is still bought by local market, like Bali and Surabaya.
“We have not exported it yet,” he said.
The still low seaweed production in Banyuwangi, he said, is caused by the too long seaweed harvest, which needs 40-45 days.
“This is what makes fishermen not enthusiastic about seaweed culture.”