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Seaweed Farming Could Boost Food Security

A new study led by Tufts University has found that seaweed farming could help mitigate hunger and malnutrition while also slowing climate change. Furthermore, the experts report that producing and selling seaweed could boost incomes for farmers in low- and middle-income countries, particularly across coastal regions in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Since seaweed farming requires no land, freshwater, or chemical fertilizers, it is a much more sustainable alternative for raising livestock and could become highly profitable as demands for nutrient-rich seaweed products grows around the globe. Such profits would increase the buying power for the households and communities who produce, process, package, and export it, which in turn could lead to healthier diets worldwide.

“One of the biggest problems of food insecurity in LMICs is the unaffordability of healthy diets,” said study lead author Patrick Webb, a professor of Nutrition Science at Tufts. “There are roughly 3.5 billion people in the world who can’t afford a healthy diet even if they choose local foods at local prices. For many of those people, cultivating and selling seaweed would lead to higher incomes and improved nutrition through purchases on the market.”

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