Future of Farm
We asked each farmer about their ambitions to expand and the main reasons that limit their farm’s potential growth. Farmers were also asked to list the major production challenges they face on a daily basis, as well as their needs or wishes that could help improve farming activities. The answers paint a picture of the industry in real time and provide valuable insights into technology gaps and innovation opportunities.
Explore The Farmer by Species
Climate change is becoming a greater concern for farmers as warming waters and severe weather events become more frequent – and make them more vulnerable to its impacts. Farmers mention that the seasons for Pyropia farming are becoming shorter and consequently they complete fewer harvests per year.
In South Korea, strong price fluctuations are a major challenge for farmers because they sell fresh biomass and there can be a glut in supplies during specific times at harvest. This leaves the farmers economically vulnerable. Farmers in Japan do not face the same market challenges.
The farmers we interviewed In Japan mentioned the degrading water quality at their farm sites due to increased urban development in coastal areas. The development led to an increase in sewage, agricultural and dam water run-off.
In China’s seaweed farming hotspots in Jiangsu province, nutrient deficiencies are a major concern and no new farming licences are being granted. Farmers from Jheizhang and Fujian say they want a uniform market, similar to Jiangsu, where prices are stable. Jheizhang has achieved price stability because the local farmers association unifies the sales process through an open auction. 95% of the available pyropia is sold through this open market, where Korean or Japanese companies can purchase seaweed for secondary processing.
Since the early 2000s cultivar-related breeding programmes commenced across all main producing countries, with the objective of developing fast-growing, temperature-tolerant and disease resistant cultivars that boast a high content of functional ingredients like breeding antioxidants, amino acids and vitamins.