Seaweed Seychelles Pty Ltd has donated a sample of its trailblazing product - the organic seaweed liquid plant growth promoter - to Nature Seychelles' Heritage Garden.
Received last month from company directors Benjamin and Bernard Port-Louis, the donation has already had a positive impact on harvests at the NGO's organic garden with healthier foliage and growth being observed from product application on Chinese cabbage, Eggplant, Basil, Parsley, and Tomatoes.
"For an organisation that is constantly looking for ways to keep its garden 100% organic, this locally produced Seaweed plant growth stimulant has been a welcome donation. We used to try and make our own fertiliser from seaweed we would collect nearby. But this is far better," Nature Seychelles' Chief Executive Nirmal Shah says.
The organic Heritage Garden at Roche Caiman was began as a demonstration site to showcase beloved local plants and foods. It has inspired several schools and other institutions to start their own. Organic gardening has become popular amid growing concerns about chemicals in farming.
"We made the donation to Nature Seychelles because this is a great NGO that looks after the environment and Dr. Shah always supported us in our quest. This is an amazing product to use safely in the environment. So I am sure it would be put to good use. Our goal is to turn Seychelles organic and chemical free using something that is locally available," Mr. Benjamin Port Louis said.
The Seaweed plant growth promoter comes as a liquid concentrate and is simple to use. 250ml of liquid is added to a litre of water and sprayed on plant foliage and roots, 1-3 times a week. This direct application allows for quick absorption to stimulate growth, increase yield and protect plants from pests.
It is extracted from seaweed sustainably collected from beaches on Praslin, Mahe, and other islands. The seaweed is processed at the company's factory in Praslin. The patented extraction process is the first of its kind and obtains rich nutrients that are useful for crops.
Father and son founded their company a few years ago after seeing seaweed go to waste on the beach.
This triggered trials to extract seaweed liquid fertiliser that began in their kitchen with results applied to plants in their garden, which they say grew faster and greener and re-fruited more frequently.
Eventually sending their findings to the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), they were told their extract can be used for plant growth promotion.
Years later, they have developed their own process to extract the growth promoter as well as a soil conditioner, and have put both on the market to benefit the local agriculture industry and to promote a healthier Seychelles.
"It has been a painful few years going through research and development, but our end results shows that we can help Seychelles become bio-growth in a short period of time," says Benjamin.
"I think we should be proud of this project and this product that is made in Seychelles, from something in Seychelles."
Apart from making Seychelles organic, they hope to encourage youth to innovate.
"If you can identify something that the country is missing or needs and you can actually solve it or aid in solving it then go for it. Take the risk, it will pay off," Bernard says.
The growth promoter retails at SR50.00 and can be bought from the company.