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Seaweed farming for Mahafaly fishermen, more than ever 10 years on!

Almost 10 years after the first women introduced seaweed farming in the coastal villages of Mahafaly, south of Tuléar, the activity has become widespread.

Nowadays, many fishermen on the Mahafaly coast have converted to seaweed farming, following in the footsteps of their wives and making this activity one of the main sources of income in certain villages between Ankilimionga and Antsakoa.
Seaweed farming ensures the financial stability of coastal communities. "The difference between our monthly income before and today is glaring", says the president of the Ankilimionga communities, south of Anakao, "seaweed farming brings us much more than fishing and guarantees us a more or less constant income every month". Indeed, the considerable increase in monthly income per seaweed farmer cannot be ignored, rising from 117,000 Ariary to 300,000 to 500,000 Ariary today.
Over the years, the communities have specialized thanks to the training, technical support and ongoing monitoring provided by Ocean Farmers with WWF support. Several fishermen have been trained to run their own seaweed production businesses. The aim is to establish a new income-generating activity, other than fishing, to ensure the resilience of communities and nature in the face of climate change. Today, over 550 seaweed farmers have joined forces in a community association and work directly with Ocean Farmers, which is committed to purchasing their products.
Seaweed farming supports communities both economically and socially. In a region where the place of women is sometimes still subject to discrimination linked to customs and culture, algoculture has for the past 10 years represented an opportunity for women to mark their place in society. It's an inclusive practice that helps single mothers in particular to exploit their full potential and engage in fruitful professional activity to support their households.