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Digital Platform Empowers Stakeholders in the Growing Seaweed Industry

The Algae Store is a new digital platform facilitating the seaweed sector in India, providing a one-stop solution for networking, buying, selling, and formalization. It aims to bridge the gap between demand and supply sustainably and increase the visibility and market access for cultivators and buyers.

Shivangi Rai
PMMSY has allocated ₹640 crore aimed at increasing seaweed production.(Photo Courtesy- Unsplash)
PMMSY has allocated ₹640 crore aimed at increasing seaweed production.(Photo Courtesy- Unsplash)

The Algae Store, an upcoming digital platform, aims to provide a comprehensive solution for stakeholders in the seaweed industry. Expected to launch in September, this online B2B marketplace will facilitate networking, buying, selling, and promoting the formalization of the sector.

Sakshi Gore, with the support of the Kochi-based Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) and in collaboration with the US Consulate General in Chennai, developed the platform to enhance visibility, both domestically and internationally, and offer various services to cultivators and buyers.

According to Gore's project report, seaweeds have diverse applications across industries such as agriculture, cosmetics, food, pharmaceuticals, and packaging. Despite India's extensive coastline of over 7,500 km, commercial seaweed cultivation is primarily limited to Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.

Currently, the country has a small community of approximately 70-120 seaweed farmers, but efforts are underway to organize the sector and bridge the gap between demand and supply in a sustainable manner.

To boost seaweed production, the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) has allocated ₹640 crores. Although, India is home to around 844 reported seaweed species, including red, green, and brown algae, only a limited number have achieved commercial success.

According to FAO data, Asia accounts for 98% of global seaweed production, with China ranking first at 56.8%, followed by Indonesia at 28.6% and South Korea at 5%.

While India has yet to emerge as a major seaweed producer, there has been a significant increase in demand for seaweed biomass.

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