Creating fairer trade in South Sulawesi’s seaweed supply chain ecosystem


Despite being the largest seaweed producer in Indonesia, the exports from the province of South Sulawesi still fall short of global demand. This report helps to understand the ongoing supply chain ecosystem and how it can be improved to create a fairer trade and generate further revenue at local and national levels.


There are many stakeholders in the seaweed supply chain in South Sulawesi from farmers, collectors, intermediate and advanced traders, transporters and processors. This complex line of process obstructs farmers from realising the potential market value of their produce.

This report presents a visual map of the supply chain, identifying the key players, resources and activities that are vital to the quality, delivery, efficiency and sustainability of the industry so we can fully understand farmers’ pain points in seaweed cultivation.

Based on those findings, this study also makes some recommendations:
• Provide education and training to empower seaweed farmers to improve their work.
• Simplify the current complicated supply chain to provide a more direct path between farmers and the end markets.
• Develop the industrial capacity through more impactful investment and joint efforts.
• Raise awareness about the benefits of using trains for seaweed transportation between Parepare and Makassar.

Click here to read the full report, ‘Creating fairer trade in South Sulawesi’s seaweed supply chain ecosystem’

Seaweed farmers have no visibility of the supply chain including the final purchaser who reportedly pays three times more than the initial price offered after harvesting due to too many intermediaries. These recommendations are intended to be implemented at a policy level by local government which would help farmers to have more information, market access and skills to sell at the best price.

In addition to that, the variety of seaweed processing in South Sulawesi is limited to transforming raw seaweed into semifinished products for export purposes due to the lack of infrastructure and technology-based investment. This situation with less sophisticated seaweed based products from this region contributes to the gap in global demand.

Moving forward after unravelling the complex supply chain, a further study on the viability of the industry ecosystem is needed to determine what policy and infrastructure support that are necessary, and the reliance and expected roles of each stakeholder to facilitate the system, including a mapping of an integrated strategic plan to maximise seaweed value addition in South Sulawesi.

Feature image by PAIR.