FIJI has found a way to market seaweed instead of importing them overseas, Indonesian seaweed expert Maria Gigih Setiarti says.
Ms Setiarti made these comments at the completion of the nine-day training on International Training on Small Medium Enterprise Sector on Seaweed Production on Wednesday.
This was a joint venture between the government of Indonesia and the Ministry of Women and Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry at Mau village, Namosi.
The training was attended by 32 participants from the Namosi province, and taught them to make products from seaweed.
This included products like noodles, jam, juice, sauces and sausages.
"Now, Fiji doesn't have to import seaweed as these trainees are well equipped with skills in seaweed cultivation techniques, processing and product promotion and marketing," Ms Setiarti said.
"The different species of seaweed have different use, for example cottonii is best for processing food items," she said.
"Seaweed products are healthy to eat and are highly rich in fibre and protein.
"We look forward to return next year and train these people on making cosmetics and skin care products from seaweed."
The 32 participants were awarded with certificates by Ambassador for Republic of Indonesia, Aidil Chandra Salim and Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni.
"This training has provided very simple techniques, which have been profitable in Indonesia and I am sure will produce similar results for Fiji," Mr Salim said.
"The techniques are environment friendly and it will develop the skills of women and youths to pursue home-based businesses," he said.
"Indonesia is glad to provide this assistance and partner with the Ministry of Women to create income generating opportunities for people in Fiji," he added.
Dr Luveni acknowledged the Indonesian government's assistance and said this initiative would complement government's effort to develop the skills and resources in rural communities to open up economic opportunities and alleviate poverty in Fiji.