Patrick Webb, Natalie K. Somers, Shakuntala H. Thilsted. Seaweed’s contribution to food security in low- and middle-income countries: Benefits from production, processing and trade. Global Food Security. Volume 37. (2023) 100686, ISSN 2211-9124, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2023.100686.
Excerpts from the paper: One proposed solution has been to focus more on water-based food systems in general (often referred to as ‘blue foods’), and on seaweed in particular. But how realistic are such propositions? This paper explores the potential of seaweed to address food insecurity and poor nutrition in LMICs, alongside its potential to mitigate the carbon footprint of food systems globally.
This paper has five parts:
- First, an introduction
- The second section describes the types of seaweeds and major uses, their nutrient content and environmental attributes.
- Section three explores patterns and trends in the production, trade and consumption of seaweed, globally and within LMICs.
- A fourth section focuses on practical challenges and constraints to upscaling the use of seaweed in resource-constrained countries and highlights the kinds of investments needed to overcome hurdles.
- The final conclusions section offers recommendations for policy action.
- Seaweed production globally has grown rapidly in recent decades.
- Most growth was in Asia, but there have been production increases in Africa and Latin America.
- There is growing attention to the potential for seaweed to provide non-terrestrial nutrients without the need for land, freshwater, or chemicals.
- This paper explores opportunities and challenges relating to the farming and commercialization of seaweed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
- Data gaps and coverage impede a full understanding of trends and patterns in what is produced or consumed .
- There appears to be potential for seaweed-related activities to grow in many coastal LMICs.
- hat said, such activities would contribute more to food security through income effects than as inputs to diets.
- Seaweed can be a high-value export crop contributing to LMIC food security by increasing export potential and household purchasing power.
Transparency | Diversity | Dynamism | Evidence-based |