A Digital Platform for Indian Seaweed Stakeholders Arriving Soon

The Algae Store, a digital platform offering a one-stop solution for stakeholders in the seaweed sector, is in the offing. The online B2B marketplace, which is expected to be operational in September, would facilitate networking, buying, selling, and promoting the formalization of the segment.

The digital platform was created by Sakshi Gore, with the support of the Kochi-based Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) in collaboration with the US Consulate General in Chennai to provide better visibility, domestic and international market access, and other services for cultivators and buyers.

Project report
Gore was a participant in one of the TechCamp organised by CPPR. She said in her project report that seaweeds have wide-ranging applications in industries such as agriculture, cosmetics, food, pharmaceuticals, and packaging. However, commercial cultivation of seaweeds in India was restricted mainly to Tamil Nadu and some areas in Gujarat and Maharashtra despite having a coastline of over 7500 km.

India has a small community of around 70-120 seaweed farmers and the number is slowly rising. Formal players are making efforts to organize the sector and bridge the gap between demand and supply sustainably, she said.

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) has allocated INR 640 crore aimed at increasing seaweed production. In India, there are around 844 reported seaweed species including red, green, and brown algae. But, only 10 + species have gained commercial success.

Demand for biomass
Per FAO data, Asia contributes to 98% of the world’s seaweed production with China ranking first (56.8%) followed by Indonesia (28.6%) and South Korea (5%).
India has not yet emerged as a major seaweed producer. However, there has been a sharp increase in demand for seaweed biomass. It is hoped that diverse species of seaweed will be cultivated in the coming years through global innovations.

Source: Center for Public Policy Research