Seaweed Cultivated at Kutuh Village, Badung Exported
Kutuh is a coastal tourist resort at the southernmost tip of Bali Island. This village is not only pleasant to visit due to the splendor of its waves, beach and sanitation, but it also retains a tempting and unique activity performed by its dwellers up to this moment.
Kutuh Village, South Kuta district, about 10 km south of Ngurah Rai International Airport, is well known for its seaweed cultivation. Foreign farmers from China and Japan have even undertaken comparative studies in the village.
Seaweed cultivation has become a new refreshing expectation for the local villagers. It is not only caused by the fact that they have a commitment to persistently maintain their coastal territory, but also the cultivation itself has given positive impact to their prosperity. Because, the activity is not only able to produce various kinds of seaweed, it also indirectly creates a new tourist resort having uniqueness of its own.
According to Nyoman Mesir (48), head of the Kutuh Village, nearly all villagers have become deeply involved in the cultivation of seaweed. Developed since the 1980s, they have established 5 groups consisting of the Sari Segara, Segara Amerta, Giri Segara, Merta Sari and Sari Merta. Each group has 50 to 100 members and a member is permitted to cultivate an area of 0.1 hectare from a total area of 26 hectares.
Kinds of seaweed cultivated here comprise the Chatoni and Spinosum. Chatoni sells at a higher price due to its superior quality. Its seedlings are imported through a sponsor. “Formerly, it was the Japanese who planted seaweed here. However, our farmers did not know what the seaweed was used for. Later, when they discovered the benefit of seaweed they began to cultivate it. Today, the beach looks like a market where many farmers are cultivating seaweed,” Mesir uttered proudly.
Each harvest could produce 50-100 tons and harvesting is carried out every 40 days. These crops are exported through company agents who purchase the harvested seaweed directly from farmers. Mesir added that such seaweed can be used as the ingredient of cosmetics, syrup, crackers, candy and gel drinks. In addition, it also contains high carbohydrate being good for human growth. “Unfortunately, no one here can process it. Therefore all crops produced by Kutuh’s farmers are exported,” he added.
Interestingly, this seaweed cultivation is not influenced by the number of tourist visits to Bali because it is directly exported. “In the past when Bali tourism suffered due to the bomb attacks, these farmers were fortunately unaffected. Such disaster did not have any impact on them,” he observed. The only obstacle influencing their crops is the bad weather. (BTN/015)