Johanan Dujon is the founder of the Caribbean’s first indigenous agricultural biotech firm.
St Lucia-based Algas Organics is fighting invasive seaweed threatening the regions tourism-dependent economy by converting the offending invasive plant species into organic fungicides, pesticides, and crop fertilizers.
Algas Organics’ flagship product, Algas Total Plant Tonic, is a sargassum seaweed-based fertilizer. Dujon developed a proprietary, high-efficiency process, which allows for maximum extraction of quality bio-actives and micronutrients from every pound of sargassum seaweed.
Seeing as the raw material costs very little to acquire — literally floating to the shoreline by the tons — Algas is able to charge consumers 15 to 20% less than its competitors.
“Essentially we are doing two things,” says Dujon. “We are taking sargassum which is a Caribbean problem and converting it into an organic bio-fertilizer which addresses another problem— the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture.”
Since 2011, the Caribbean has been victim to a devestating sargassum seaweed crisis that has been spoiling beaches, killing off marine life and obstructing the livelihoods of fishermen and coastal communities due to an increase in fuel and maintenance costs, impeded efficiency and reduced catch.
Algas Organics has helped to rid Saint Lucia’s beaches of 400 tons of wet seaweed over the past three years through a zero-waste manufacturing process. The algae is manually removed from the east coast of St Lucia and taken to the world’s first sargassum seaweed processing facility where it is converted into organic compost for the farming industry.
Dujon was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 2020 in the Manufacturing and Industry category.
Algas Organics products are sold in St. Lucia, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada and the USA.
It is predicted that revenue could reach $2 million in 2020.Tags: agriculture, AgriTech, algae, Caribbean Islands, Ocean Cleanup, Ocean Conservancy, Oceans, seaweed