Mabe pearl farming attracting interest in Vanua Levu
October 8, 2019 4:30 pm
Mabe pearl farming is attracting the interest of women and youth groups in Vanua Levu and it is providing them the support they need to improve their livelihoods.
A meeting of stakeholders was held in Savusavu recently aimed at helping the pearl based farming groups manage their resources sustainably.
The Partner Community Meeting comes under the Fisheries Pearl-Based Livelihood Project by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) which looks at the collection of the pearl oysters, production of mabe pearls and the production of pearl shells and mabe pearl handicraft for domestic sale.
There are currently 12 communities in Fiji that have undertaken this project, seven of which are women’s groups – involving approximately 130 women.
The Navatudua Women’s Group of Raviravi in Macuata are running a mabe pearl farm and have successfully produced mabe pearls and generated income from sales ranging from $735 to $2,200 per crop.
The groups’ secretary Kalesi Nabobo says they are about to do another harvest.
“Last year we did another deployment. We deployed oysters which was 1, 240. In each oyster, there are three mabe, so we take two mabe from each shell. So, that gives us the total of 2,480 mabe. The sale price – the best price we can sell it at is $30. But we take the average price, $15. So, 2480 multiplied by $15, the total amount of money that we will have will be $37,200 and we will harvest this month.”
For all communities involved in this business, income generated from the sales of the pearls has been used in the construction of village halls, purchase of village trucks, building a new shop, assisting school children and reinvesting in pearl farming materials and infrastructure.