Plant Booster from Seaweed.
WHEN Johanan Jeffrey Dujon received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in January, he made it a point to thank Sandals Resorts International for buying and using the product he invented.
Dujon, a graduate of St. Mary’s College, is the developer and manufacturer of Algas Total Plant Tonic concentrate, an environmental friendly booster for plants, that is made using Sargasso seaweed. However, developing the product was just the start, he then had to go to market.
Dujon said it was therefore with a great sense of pride that he discovered the world’s leading luxury-included resort, had taken the initiative to support the young businessman, and purchase his products to use at the Sandals Grande, and then at Sandals Regency La Toc.
“It’s obviously a major push, and getting Sandals to buy-in to the product makes us very proud. It also gives hope that the door can be opened for young entrepreneurs to be successful and eventually export. We are very happy for the support, especially knowing that Sandals has resorts throughout the region. It is also good to see a corporate citizen take a chance on supporting a young businessman in St. Lucia.”
It was the seaweed influx of 2014 that got the young entrepreneur thinking about ways to exploit this natural raw material. With support from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture and the UNDP Global Environment Fund, his background in biology proved invaluable as he proceeded to extract an ingredient found in the seaweed, which forms the key component of his product.
“The Algas concentrate creates crazy root growth, so plants take up more available water, so you save on irrigation and you save on water costs. You can reduce your water usage by 30% and fertilizer usage by 50 percent by using this product. It has no overpowering odour, and more importantly, it is all organic, which makes it environmentally friendly.”
That falls in line with Sandals philosophy, since environmental awareness has always been a major focus of the resort. General Manager at Sandals Grande Winston Anderson, said the resort was therefore happy to support such an enterprising young St. Lucian businessman.
“Sandals has always supported the communities in which we operate. We always look for opportunities to develop linkages within those communities and where the chance arises for us to invest in a local product then we are more than happy to do so. It is with pride we have started using Johanan’s product, and we want to join the rest of St. Lucia in congratulating him for achieving the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.”
The product can he used to boost any plant system, from flowers and decorative bushes to produce such as tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables. Dujon says his company has developed a system to preserve the seaweed, which allows him to have a large storage of raw material.
The Algas tonic, which is available at Massy Stores, Sunbilt, and M and C Home Depot to name a few places, can compete with any international product such as MiracleGro, but is more than 20 per cent cheaper. You can find more information about the product on Facebook.
The young entrepreneur hopes that he can get his product into the US and West African markets, as well as throughout the region. The Sandals support he beamed, goes a long way in helping achieve that goal.