CAGAYAN — To fully optimize the abundance of aquamarine products in the region, including the gamet of Sta. Praxedes, the officers of DTI Region 2 and DTI-Cagayan Provincial Office had a meeting with Mayor Esterlina Aguinaldo on February 1 to discuss plans for the development project of the region’s “black gold of the sea”—gamet, which is also one of the popular edible seaweeds in the region.

The meeting was presided over by Mayor Esterlina, who reported a growing market for the gamet industry, particularly overseas workers and foreign restaurants. Known as “nori” in Japanese and “black gold” here in the Philippines, gamet, or “Pyropia Acanthopora”, is a papery seaweed that thrives on rocky shores mainly in some towns in the Cagayan Valley, including Sta. Praxedes, Cagayan.

During the visit, DTI R2-SMEDD Assistant Division Chief, Atty. Michael B. Paggabao, STIDS Ragel D. Tacazon, and STIDS Melegrina Turingan of DTI Cagayan also witnessed first-hand the preparation and drying process of “gamet.” The team also tackled primary information related to its market demand and possible interventions for its long-awaited development. The DTI team committed to a line-up 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.

As a way forward, DTI R2 plans to conduct extensive research and development on “nori” sheets using the freshly harvested gamet in Sta. Praxedes and to conduct face-to-face product development training in preparation for the “Gamet Festival” happening in May, which is being celebrated by the town annually.

Meanwhile, the team will continuously coordinate with the LGU-Sta Praxedes, concerned officials, “gamet” harvesters and vendors’ associations, and all the local stakeholders involved and will monitor the timelines that were set to execute the directions and sustain the initial development of this project. *

Date of release: 03 February 2023