The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has set a target to produce some 500,000 tonnes of seaweed by 2030 as part of the nation’s seafood development strategy.
To spur seaweed cultivation, the ministry will submit a proposal to the Prime Minister to develop seaweed as a major product in the seafood industry.
According to the General Director of the MARD's Directorate of Fisheries Tran Dinh Luan, Vietnam had some 16,500 hectares of seaweed that yielded 150,000 tonnes in 2023.
Green caviar and Kappaphycus alvarezii plantation respectively gained farmers some 150-200 million VND (over 6,100 – 8,100 USD), and 60-80 million VND per hectare.
The country has more than 887 kinds of natural seaweed with 88 varieties holding economic value that can be grown on a potential area of 900,000 hectares.
With the global market growing 10% per year and a green consumption boom, the seaweed sector holds huge potential for further development. Kelp is an amazing carbon dioxide absorber. It can take in five times more carbon than most land-based plants, creating an opportunity to sell carbon credits through its cultivation.
However, Luan pointed out several challenges in the sector, with a shortage of cultivation standards, environmental pollution, and climate change to name a few.
In the coming time, the sector will focus on the nearshore plantation of green caviar and gracilaria verrucose from the north-central province of Thanh Hoa to the south-central province of Binh Thuan. It will also develop offshore cultivation of Kappaphycus alvarezii and imported varieties in the northern provinces of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong City, the central provinces of Quang Ngai, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan, and the southern provinces of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Ca Mau and Kien Giang.