To fully optimize the abundance of aquamarine products in the region, including the ‘gamet’ of Santa Praxedes in Cagayan province, officers of the Department of Trade and Industry-Cagayan meet with Mayor Esterlina Aguinaldo to discuss plans for the development project of one of the region’s edible seaweed. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

DTI boosts ‘nori’ industry in Region 2

SANTA PRAXEDES, Cagayan: In a move to optimize the region’s edible seaweed more popularly known as “gamet” in this town, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has discussed plans with the local government here led by Mayor Esterlina Aguinaldo.

According to Manilyn Ponce, DTI Region 2 information officer, the DTI regional and provincial offices are bent on fully optimizing the abundance of aquamarine products in the region including the gamet of this town, one of the popular edible seaweeds in the region.

Presiding the meeting with the DTI officers, Aguinaldo reported a growing market for the gamet industry, particularly overseas workers and foreign restaurants.

In Japanese, gamet is known as “nori,” and “black gold” in the Philippines. Also called “Pyropia Acanthopora,” gamet is a papery seaweed that thrives on rocky shores mainly in some towns in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley), including this town.

Members of the DTI team who visited this town for the gamet industry were DTI Region 2 Small Medium Enterprises Development Assistant Division chief Atty. Michael Paggabao, DTI Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist (Stids) Ragel Tacazon and Stids Melegrina Turingan of DTI Cagayan.

Ponce said the DTI team witnessed first-hand the preparation and drying process of “gamet” and tackled primary information related to its market demand and possible interventions for its long-awaited development.

She said the DTI team has committed to a lineup of interventions, particularly the improvement of packaging and label designs of the existing products, product standardization and the development of new processed products such as nori sheets and chips.

Ponce added that the DTI Region 2 also plans to conduct extensive research and development on nori sheets using the freshly harvested seaweeds in this town.

“They will be conducting face-to-face product development training in preparation for the annual ‘Gamet Festival’ which is celebrated in the month of May,” she said.

Meanwhile, the DTI team will coordinate with the local government unit and concerned officials here including gamet harvesters and vendors associations, as well as stakeholders involved.

Ponce said the team will also monitor the timelines that were set to execute the directions and sustain the initial development of this project.

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