Dive into the world of participatory research

March 27, 2024

Together with the NGO JaSuDa, Hasanuddin University and Wageningen University & Research, farmers in South Sulawesi collaborated in on-farm research trials of Kappaphycus cottonii seaweed cultivation. The on-farm experiment was carried out between May and October of 2023 in Southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. On the plots of six seaweed farmers experimental ropes were set out to test if a higher start weight of the seaweed seeds leads to a higher yield.

What truly set the research apart was the collaborative process. Farmers, NGO’s and researchers working together provided invaluable insights into the complexities of seaweed farming and emphasised the importance of speaking the same language. While the experiment showed no direct correlation between seed weight and harvest weight, it ignited essential conversations and highlighted important learnings and areas for further exploration.

Discover insights from our collaborative research on seaweed cultivation

Location Matters

Place long-lines offshore in the rainy season; move them closer to shore or estuaries during dry spell to manage high salinity.

Bad weather

High sea water temperatures probably increase disease problems (ice-ice disease)

Seed Quality

Women learned to identify and procure high-quality seeds.


Very small seeds are more likely to fall off long lines resulting in lower production.

Participatory research

The positive effects of collaborative research with farmers, NGOs, and researchers

Growth monitoring

Regular observation, and cleaning is critical to determine the production and to maintain the condition of the seaweed

The shared journey illustrates the essence of scientific progress – not just finding answers but also by uncovering new questions.

We would like to acknowledge funding of the "Food and Water Security programme" (KB35-35-101-001) by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Security.

Watch the Seaweed Documentary

This documentary showcases our collaborative journey. It reveals the power of teamwork between farmers, NGOs, and researchers. While one experiment may not give all the answers, it sparks important discussions and highlights areas for further investigation.

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