St. Lucian uses sargassum seaweed and turns into a successful agricultural business

27
St. Lucian uses sargassum seaweed and turns into a successful agricultural business
St. Lucian (inset) photo
 Johanan Dujon (inset photo) has turned seaweed into a via business.

(ANTIGUA OBSERVER) – A St. Lucian national is turning what many have described as a nuisance into a booming agricultural business.

Seeing the harm that sargassum seaweed was causing his fellow St. Lucians, especially in households and with fishing equipment on the east coast of Dennery, Johanan Dujon sprang into action to turn a problem into a product.

Dujon noticed that, “Televisions and computers stopped working and other metallic household appliances rusted.”

He told OBSERVER AM yesterday that this was happening “because decomposing sargassum seaweed emits hydrogen sulfide into the air. The chemical destroys electronics.”

As the founder and managing director of Algas Organics Limited, he said his goal is to rid the beaches of the seaweed and successfully convert it into Algas Total Plant Tonic, a bio-stimulant that improves plant nutrient uptake efficiency through vigorous root development.

According to independent research findings, in some instances, the product yields superior overall plant growth in comparison to top international brands.

His entrepreneurship is revolutionising the agricultural industry and, he is one of the most successful regional entrepreneurs in the processing of sargassum seaweed, which has become prevalent on coastlines around the Caribbean. The recent change in environmental conditions, he said, has created a severe influx of the seaweed across the region.

His product hit the market in 2015. Now, Dujon said, he is planning to expand his company and is considering proposals from regional leaders.

“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.”

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.

He plans to broaden his company’s scope to reach the household and agricultural chemical industry, including providers of bio-pesticides and bio-fungicides.

(99)(3)

No posts to display

27 COMMENTS

    • You are the epitome of ugly. Such an outstanding young man doing such amazing things and placing his country on the map in the process and your only comment is that he's ugly? Examine yourself.

      (6)(0)

  1. Hire the bums off the street and have them harvest the seaweed. Perfect work for the idle unskilled bums.

    (7)(0)

  2. Please provide information on how you can be contacted if possible, someone might be able to assist you.

    (15)(0)

  3. Very good but the rass up in Grace is ahead of him. The caves up there are full of bats and he collects the dropping and use it as fertilizer in his field and you should see that field and how much it yields. I ask why he use the droppings and he told me he discovered that it's has twenty times more nitrogen (essential for plant growth) than the average fertilizer.

    (5)(2)

    • If it is a simply case of innovation by that Grace person, then the competition is open. There are many types of fertilizer. Each type, depending on chemicals that make up the fertilizer, there will be slightly different uses. To me, this chap with the seaweed has some plusses, or even an edge.

      Depending on the amount of deposit of the bat droppings, the supply for its market may be limited or finite. Seaweed, on the other hand, comes across, in waves annually, from the breakup of the yellow mass found in the Atlantic Ocean. Like Columbus said, 'supplies are inexhaustible'.

      And it is important to look beyond our shores for the extent of the size of the potential market. How many tons of bat droppings are there, to be packaged and sold?

      The seaweed business can go into other directions too. It depends on marketing learnt, and other skills that can be transferred to other kinds, or to similar kinds of businesses.

      Then, there might be room for both of these people together. They can join hands, in a limited liability company relationship, and serve the different sides of the potential markets that exist, or markets that can be created. Separately, too, competition is good.

      They can share ideas. Share certain inputs like packaging and advertising, and buy in bulk cooperatively. They can seek to reduce costs, and grow their businesses. The possibilities are several, if they strangely cooperate in order to compete more effectively. This last point is a lesson to be learnt from the Titans of Silicon Valley.

      (6)(0)

    • Lol u giving away the person's secret...anyway I love the innovations coming from st Lucian's..we are moving forward

      (2)(0)

    • that in no way is ahead of him. i think you missing the point. do we have problems with bats NO!
      do we have problems with sargassum seaweed YES! and i dont believe that ras ever came out to the public to say his findings as this young man did (correct me if am wrong)

      (6)(1)

  4. i am sure government going to find a way to get in his pocket like they always do people. after all the guy found a solution which they couldnt do nothing about

    (7)(3)

    • That is a very narrow and negative view. The population is young one. This means that the reproductive tendencies are expanding. The needs of the newborn and those already here are also expanding. What do you want the government to do then? Must it follow the last one by borrowing and getting loans whilst mortgaging the future of the young and older population? We must think a lot smarter than we have been doing in the past, since so-called independence.

      (3)(0)

      • i thank you for giving your opinion and i totally agree with you if there is something that you were trying to educate me about, but with you opinion and comment you just basically said the same thing i said in my previous comment by stating the obvious but just with nicer words

        (1)(0)

  5. Innovative and proactive. Not a lazy bum, making excuses for stealing and doing other illegal activities.

    (30)(0)

  6. Man! That IS the spirit of our nobel laureates working right there! Way to go, young man!

    This is the kind of thing that the Ministry of Agriculture should be spearheading, instead of the dead banana industry. Indeed.

    Teach business in schools, from Pre-K up to the university level. Create local textbooks to do that. Hey! That is another idea for a local business.

    Teach everybody how to start a business. Teach basic business law for various types of businesses, from the one-man show, up to the limited liability compny. Put some of our sponging lazy lawyers out of business.

    Put the incentives in place for young people to find alternatives to make a living, rather than to join gangs of drug dealers and murderers. Give them much better options, for Heaven's sake.

    Congrats! Grow a very powerful brand and product label. Get your marketing right, by using the internet as your marketplace. Branch out into other related areas. Get many lines going. Diversify as a risk management strategy. And may you grow from strength to strength!

    (41)(0)

    • The brother is a genius. You are so right another Nobel Laureates in the making let's all wish him best of luck on his endeavor.

      (14)(0)

  7. wow watch how another employment opportunity comes along. but i wonder how that algas will make weed grow though?

    (13)(0)

Comments are closed.