Earlier this year, a collaborative and evidence-based evaluation was carried out to determine the developmental potential of 15 commodities. Upon the conclusion of the assessment, it was determined that sea moss is a commodity with a great market and supply potential. Subsequently, the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries, Blue and Green Economy and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conducted a value chain assessment to explore the potential opportunities, internal mechanics, and any potential obstacles in the sea moss value chain. On May 19th 2023, a workshop was organised to seek the validation of stakeholders and present the findings and the proposed strategy to upgrade the sea moss value chain to sea moss farmers for their review.
Reginald Severin, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries, Blue and Green Economy gave the opening remarks. “Part of value chain development, one of the things that is key is that we actually do the research and development process to determine the feasibility, the viability and the potential economic benefits that would be derived from whatever things we pursue in agriculture -We gonna take the results, your ideas, consolidate them, and we’re gonna package them into an investment profile.” The Permanent Secretary explained to the Sea Moss farmers, speaking about the project with excitement “We’re gonna grow a Sea Moss Industry, we’re gonna look at alternative products, we’re gonna look at alternative ways of utilising Sea Moss… Traditionally, we’ve been harvesting Sea Moss from the rocks, and it’s inadequate to supply and industry and therefore with mass cultivation of Sea Moss that is economical, you are able to make something out of it.”
Minister of State with specific responsibility to Agriculture and Fisheries the Hon Jullan Defoe affirmed the Government’s commitment. “We feel now that we have sufficient information…so the Government is ready to provide its support; and I reassure you that in this coming budget you will hear us say a bit more about it, and we will actually be putting our resources where our intentions is- which is to help those who are already established and those who are seeking to establish.”
Ms Sharlene Prosser of The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Mr Thomas Nelson of The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) presented the assessment findings. Afterwards, the Farmers took part in a workshop where they received training on two topics from the experts. Exploring Agribusiness Potential: Sea Moss Cost of Production and Dried Sea Moss Marketing – taught by Dr. Omardath Maharaj, from FAO and Sea Moss Industry Upgrading Strategy – taught by Mr. Derrick Theophille, from the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries Blue and Green Economy.