Young Saint Lucia entrepreneur Johanan Dujon has started what has been described as “the Caribbean’s first indigenous agriculture biotech company“, turning sargassum seaweed into fertilizer. From Caribbean Beat:
Last year, Dujon was a presenter at the Earth Optimism Summit organised by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. The inaugural event was intended to celebrate and share successful ideas in environmental protection. Dujon was selected after responding to an invitation for submissions, and may have been the only representative from the English-speaking Caribbean. “We, in all of the environmental challenges that we’re faced with, have the opportunity to convert them into profitable ventures,” he told the audience.
He presented test results that show Algas fertiliser performing better than the big American brand Miracle-Gro, and touted its organic nature. “Our product reduces the need for synthetic chemicals, which leach out into our soils and into our waters and increases your yield,” he told the summit. “If you match innovation with funding, mentorship, technical support, and community and environmental conscience, what you’re going to get is a revolutionary solution which can stand out at the global scale,” he concluded.
There’ve been other ideas bandied about for making productive use of sargassum. A team at the University of the West Indies St Augustine campus has experimented with turning it into plastic. Barbadian environmental entrepreneur Mark Hill has made it into food and particleboard. But Dujon’s project seems to be the first to really bear fruit.