St Lucian converts sargassum into fertiliser business

[Saint Lucia] St Lucian entrepreneur Johanan Dujon has converted the problem of excess Sargassum, which has been plaguing Caribbean shorelines, into a business opportunity featuring a range of organic fertilisers.

According to a report by the Antigua Observer, Dujon launched his company, Algas Organics Limited, in 2015, which use Sargassum for a range of natural fertilisers which stimulates plant growth through vigorous root development.

During the high season, the company employs up to 20 staff in the first phase of the five-stage process of collecting and processing the seaweed.

The product is said to be revolutionising the agricultural industry.

“We have been speaking to a number of governments throughout the region to franchise the Algas model,” Dujon said. “So, when the seaweed comes into their coastlines, they can collect, process and even export the product to other countries.”

“I believe that every challenge, whether social or environmental, is an opportunity for business,” he added.

“The sargassum is actually a blessing and not a curse. Seaweed contains natural growth hormones and a lot of micronutrients which [are] what plants need,” said Dujon. “Often, in Caribbean agriculture, all we supply plants with is nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. But plants need a whole host of other nutrients, most of which are present in seaweed.”

He plans to develop the company’s range of products to include bio-pesticides and bio-fungicides.

In 2017 he was also selected as one of Caribbean Beat’s 25 Caribbean achievers under 25.

 

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