IICA supports development opportunities in St. Lucia utilizing organic wastes

Saint Lucia, Belize, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana are the key beneficiary states under this phase of the project.

Dennery, St. Lucia, January 28, 2020 (IICA). Farmers, small business owners and representatives of the public sector learned about economic opportunities that can be developed in Saint Lucia utilizing bioeconomic models for organic waste management with the support of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and  the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).

The objective of this initiative is to strengthen the resilience of the rural economies through the adoption of innovative technologies and sustainable waste management systems in the Caribbean region.

“This field offers a number of opportunities for prospecting entrepreneurs who can make a case for seeing the agricultural sector as more than just a food producing sector, but also a biomass conversion industry”, said Abimbola Abiola, IICA’s specialist in Climate Change and Natural Resources, who facilitated the workshop.

Through the workshop participants got a better understanding of waste streams and approaches to their management that lend to their use for developing bio-inputs including compost, as well as insight into alternative biomass conversion options that are both relevant to Saint Lucia’s context and capable of creating useful outputs.

St. Lucia is one of the key beneficiary states under this phase of the project alongside Belize, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.

“We are advocating an approach towards solid waste management that can help protect the environment and public health, while creating value for stakeholders of the agricultural sector”, said Gregg Rawlins, IICA Representative in the Eastern Caribbean States (ECS).

“This activity again demonstrates our thinking at IICA that agriculture is a great, practical problem-solver for a number of the climate and socio-economic challenges facing small island developing states”, added Rawlins.

Another area important to participants that was covered was having an appreciation for a feasible approach to better utilizing organic wastes from centralized municipal and regional sources, and avenues for collaboration to share lessons learnt in the application of composting techniques and recipes.

This knowledge appealed to members of local youth organisations as well as small business owners who discussed opportunities for possible collaboration with the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority (SLUSWMA).

Following from the workshop, participants will utilize guidelines given to formulate compost recipes for important organic wastes, then, monitor the success of their formulations ahead of evaluation at the second workshop scheduled for April 2020.

About IICAIICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.