Make use of seaweed

Barbadians have been told that they should not to see the invasive Sargassum seaweed as a threat or a crisis.

“See it as an opportunity for your next semester when you are going to use seaweed as a fertilizer, when you are going to use seaweed as a mulch because these things are not just threats or crisis, but they really present a tremendous opportunity for some value-added,” said National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme’s GEF Small Grants Programme David Bynoe.

“From the seaweed you can have several products both in terms of animal feed, fertilizer, iodine and there are so many other beneficial uses of seaweed. There are places where you grow it just for the Japanese market. So we need to think about these things in a very scientific way,” he added.

Bynoe was speaking during a special ceremony where students from more than two-dozen primary schools were recognized and celebrated for their involvement in the Regional Entrepreneurship Agriculture Programme (REAP).

REAP provided the students with the opportunity to sow and reap a range of products, which they also sold.

The programme, which started in November 2013 and was initially aimed at attracting about 300 students, saw the participation of more than 1,300 students from several primary schools and the Grantley Adams Secondary School.

Two of the students from the St James Primary School explaining a system they used in their farming. 
Two of the students from the St James Primary School explaining a system they used in their farming.

Officials are currently in the planning phase of a similar programme for secondary school students that is hoped to begin in the next school term. REAP will also be adopted throughout the region.

Addressing the gathering at the Almond Bay Catering in Hastings, Christ Church yesterday, Bynoe said he was pleased that the programme had impacted positively on the students.

“Today really signifies a metamorphosis in our approach, not only to our economic development but also our social development because children would have learned some very important social skills . . . .It also has a very strong environmental component. So we are changing the approach of how we do things in this country,” he said.

“I am more than happy with the results I have seen thus far as it relates to this project,” added Bynoe, describing the programme as a “more holistic approach to education”.

“It is important that we turn the classroom, from the primary school level, into a practical laboratory,” he added.

The GEF Small Grants Programme was supported by the UNP to the tune of  US$15,000.

Director of the Division of Youth within the Ministry of Youth and Culture Cleviston Hunte described REAP as “a revolutionary type project”. He said he was satisfied that the future of agriculture in Barbados was safe.

Some of the officials at today’s REAP celebration ceremony including chief eecutive officer of the BAS James Paul (second left) and director in the division of youth in the Ministry of Youth and Culture Cleviston Hunte (right). 
Some of the officials at today’s REAP celebration ceremony including chief executive officer of the BAS James Paul (second left) and director in the division of youth in the Ministry of Youth and Culture Cleviston Hunte (right).

“The evidence that we are seeing from this project is that we are getting more young people involved in agriculture and this speaks well to the development of agriculture across the country,” he said.

9 Responses to Make use of seaweed

  1. Doria Alleyne
    Doria Alleyne July 1, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Not a bad ideal.

  2. Buddy Love
    Buddy Love July 1, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Fertilizer for what. Barbados just managed 10, 000 of sugar cane, the worse crop ever in 300 years, and the Island is covered in River Tamarind and bush.

  3. cecil p July 1, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    on my way into Bim last year I could see this seaweed way out in the ocean come on now don’t tell me the Barbados government can’t do something to stop this seaweed from reaching our beautiful beaches I find the Barbados government is two slow getting out of the blocks. stop sitting on your … and do something about it .I know it can be done get a moving

  4. James Franks July 1, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Better wake up to the challenge Frendel and Co and seriously attempt to deal with this seaweed issue, or you will have no economy t o govern if your lifeblood, tourists, fail to return to the I on account on this issue.

  5. Tony Waterman July 1, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    @cecil p!!!!!! How about enlightening us as to WHAT can be done, instead of just saying, that SOMETHING can be done.
    Come on be part of the SOLUTION not part of the PROBLEM

    • Matthieu B November 10, 2015 at 11:01 am

      @ Tony Waterman : Lots of solutions are being developped, but very few addressing the two main consequent challenges :
      – how to clean the beaches without ruining them ? As bobcats and backhoes are really prejudicial to them, you have to use some special equipement.
      – how to turn the probably endless flow of sargassum into an economical strength ? By adding value to the sargassum, which means to collect it efficiently (no sand) and to be able to pre-process it (clean it, mas hit, pre-dry it).
      Check how they do here, it can be the beginning of an answer :

  6. cecil p July 1, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    T.W. I hear u loud and clear listen up like I said flying into BIM last year I can see this seaweed way out in the ocean now T.W u said u would like to hear a SOLUTION I have one for u and the Barbados government .now the same way the fishermen use they nets to catch fish .im sure they can do the same thing to catch the damn seaweed before it reaches the beach and when they do that they would have some empty boats to collect it then the Barbados government could turn around and sell it to who ever wants to buy it I hear some European countries love eating this seaweed . u have buyers for it already this could be selling like hot cakes .now T.W how that sound to ya ? I think that would FLY. coming from the north pole end story

    • Olutoye Walrond July 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Cecil, do you have any idea as to the volume of this thing? There are mountains of it in the sea. You would need a million nets to catch it all. And having done so who would pay the fishermen for the enormous task of hauling it to shore?

  7. cecil p July 2, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    O .W im hearing u I see it on my way into a Bim and I see it on the beach and u know what you’re are right I give ya that one it’s one hell of a lot of seaweed . but ya know what the government can do. is check out these European countries see it there interested in buying it if they are that’s your answer that’s how the fishermen will get pay I talk to some Chinese and Japanese @ work I show them the pictures and they say they never see so much seaweed the told me they eat it many different ways .O.W im with u it would be a lot of work but u have to do something. before I go I will leave this one with ya how will the Government of Barbados handle a OIL SLICK I hope that will never happen we will be up the Creek with out a paddle .lets keep this conversation going we will come up with a program to get rid of this damn seaweed


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