Teue Sito started seaweed farming in 2004 when she was only 7 years old. Her father taught her the basics and over time seaweed farming has become her main source of income.
Teue comes from Wagina, where most of her family engages in seaweed farming. Now 23 years of age she says her father’s struggles has made her realize the importance of hard work.
Teue is a single mother of four kids, she says what her father has taught her has helped her to this day.
“He showed us what it is like to be self-reliant, to not depend on others,” Teue said as she loaded seaweed onto the small dug out canoe.
“Me and my siblings used to joke about it, but he made sure we work for our own money. He would make us plant our own seaweed and sell it back to him, and because there was nine of us, we also competed against each other,” Teue said.
She said it was an extremely hard time for her family when their father died but says that she is working hard to keep her fathers’ legacy.
“My mother kept on pushing us to continue, and she has been very strong for us, so we kept going and planted more seaweed,” Teue said.
She says that seaweed farming is demanding, but also rewarding.
"Everyday I try my best to reach my target of 40 plus rows, it is not an easy thing to do 40 rows a day but I have trust in myself to do this work," Teue explained.
“After harvest I get $4,000 to $6,000 and that is a big gain for me, especially based in a rural area. I can support my little family and even provide for my other siblings.”
Teue says that through seaweed farming she has been able to do studies at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) – and she is self-sponsored which makes her proud.
"Seaweed farming helped me to pay for a University education, I have completed two years, and this is my final year," Teue said.
She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business and hopes that she will be able to expand to other areas once she completes it.
“We applied for support from government, but even if that does not work, we will still continue with our seaweed business,” she says.
Teue says that what her father taught them is to make a living that is sustainable, and one that keeps their family together. For that she is always grateful to her father.