• Today
    October 24

  • 01:48 AM

Doubt about Sargassum fertiliser

CARLOS ATWELL, carlosatwell@nationnews.com

Added 30 June 2018

deborah-hunte

Deborah Hunte, president of the Farmers Association of Barbados, is sceptical about using sargassum seaweed in agriculture. (GP)

While one of the possible uses for the influx of Sargassum seaweed is in agriculture, at least one farming leader is raising strong objections.

Deborah Hunte is the president of the non-profit organisation Farmers Association of Barbados, and she thinks it may be best to burn the seaweed rather than use it widely in agriculture. She said more research needed to be done on the properties of the seaweed before she would feel comfortable using it in the soil.

“I am very timid when it comes to that. It is something that has broken away and is free-floating, dead in the water. Why aren’t the fish eating it? What if there are marine diseases inside it? If the sea itself is rejecting this seaweed, why should we introduce it to the land?” she said, adding it would be prudent to have soil tests done to see how the seaweed affected soil over a period of time.

 

Initial success

 

Hunte said farmers in St Lucy had recorded initial success using the Sargassum in their fields during a yearlong trial but things eventually turned sour – or salty, to be precise.

“Any and everything can’t grow in that seaweed and eventually the salt adversely affected the soil and the produce started to become scorched. That was as far as the trial went – it had pretty good results at first, but it ended badly,” she said.

Hunte said she planned to look into the matter further but asked that she already had serious concerns about introducing marine material to terrain environments.

A problem

 

“I remember there was a push to introduce fish offal into fertiliser, but remember there are people who are severely allergic to seafood and there are others who are vegans. I have a problem with crossing certain things – the sea and land should be kept separate – and I don’t want it to be a case where something from the sea gets into the produce and ends up actually causing someone to get sick,” she said, also raising concerns about salt getting into the water table.

Until she has more information on the issue, Hunte suggested the relevant authorities should burn the seaweed and then see if the ash could be useful. (CA)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Should the current age of retirement (67 years) be increased?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM