Kwale County has made history after becoming the first county to export seaweed to European countries.
The 100-ton consignment was loaded at the Kibuyuni Seaweed yard in Kibuyuni Village, Lungalunga Sub-county and witnessed by Acting Tourism and Trade CeC Ramadhan Bungale, and officials from Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KEMFRI), C-Weed Company and women members of the Kibuyuni Seaweed Farmers group.
The consignment marked a turning point for the group, mainly composed of women, which will be exporting 30-60 tons of the produce monthly to France, USA, Belgium and other oversee markets.
The group earned Sh2 million from the first consignment.
Bungale said that Kwale County government under the stewardship of Governor Salim Mvurya and his Deputy Fatuma Achani has invested heavily in supporting the women group and was proud to see it succeed.
"Governor Mvurya and Madam Achani's government built a huge storage facility for the women group, trained the members on seaweed best farming practices, developed the access road here and helped find market which was the biggest problem,'' said the CeC, on Wednesday.
Kwale County being the pioneer county in the project, Bungale proposed for the construction of a factory to process the seaweed in Kibuyuni to enable value addition and boost income.
The chairlady of the group Fatuma Mohammed, Kemfri Researcher Allex Kimathi, FAO representative Tito Arunga, C-Weed Company Ltd officer Ezra Mereng all pledged to work closely with the Kwale County Government to boost the Kibuyuni women group.
National government's target is to export 100 tonnes of seaweed from the Coastal counties of Kwale, Lamu, Tana River, Kilifi and Mombasa annually in line with the Blue Economy Agenda and President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda.