THE Fisheries Department has encouraged coastal villages on Vanua Levu to embark on seaweed farming to generate income for their individual families.
Principal fisheries officer northern Joji Vakawaletabua said they would provide seedlings to villagers who were interested in such farming.
"As part of our assistance this year, we will be providing seedlings and necessary equipment to villagers who have shown interest in seaweed farming," he said.
"We have initiated this farming scheme in some villages in northern Macuata and also in Bua and Savusavu. The villagers have started to harvest and are earning high income from it.
"The reason we want people to embark on this scheme is because it's an easy and quick way of earning income. This can improve the livelihoods of people."
Mr Vakawaletabua said such farming was also good because the market was locally available.
"People don't have to worry about their markets because buyers are locally available. One tonne of dried seaweed costs $800 and imagine if people harvest more than a tonne.
"Seaweed farming does not only benefit people but also the marine ecosystem," he said.
Villages of Lakeba and Kavewa in Macuata have started harvesting their seaweed farms as of last week.