Seaweed cultivation presents a unique opportunity for Hungary
Seaweed is a unique and valuable commodity with various potential uses in society, including as food, biofilter or cattle feed. Reinier Nauta and Tamara den Ijzerman, guest lecturers from Texel, Netherlands talked about the properties of this unique crop as well as the opportunities it presents to Hungary on October 16, at a side event at the Budapest Water Summit organized by the agricultural team of the Embassy of the Netherlands.
The main takeaway of the lecture was this: Although Hungary is a landlocked country, the properties of various areas in Hungary, specifically, the saline groundwater make certain regions ideal for halophyte (salt-tolerant) crop cultivation.
Hungary, a country away from the sea, is in fact a perfect place for seaweed farming.
Seaweed presents unique opportunities. Its growth is flexible and its carbon sequestration potential is very high compared to some terrestrial plants. It can be used as cattle feed and is an environmentally friendly option because the plant can decrease the amount of methane produced in meat production.
But seaweed can be used for so much more. Because it has a high capacity to absorb heavy metals, it is ideal for biofiltration. It is also a food delicacy in marine cuisines.
There is an increasing need for new forms of seaweed cultivation today. The unsustainable “wild harvesting” of seaweed and marine pollution (arsene, mercury, etc) are damaging the maritime ecosystems.
This means that the current situation has to change – And advancements in terrestrial saline crop cultivation can be the way forward. Hungary has always been a land of innovation and seaweed might open a new window of opportunity for this country.