St Lucian entrepreneur and founder of indigenous agriculture biotech firm Algas Organics, Johanan Dujon, is on Forbes 30 Under 30 2020 list for manufacturing and industry.
“Johanan Dujon founded the Caribbean’s first indigenous agriculture biotech firm to fight invasive seaweed threatening the tourism-dependent economy,” Forbes said of the 26-year-old St Lucian, who was among 600 shortlisted from a pool of 15,000 applicants.
Describing Dujon’s company, Forbes wrote, “Algas Organics converts invasive plant species into organic fungicides, pesticides, and crop fertilisers. St Lucia-based Algas has processed two million pounds of plants since 2015. Revenue could reach [US]$2 million in 2020.”
By developing these high-quality commercial agricultural products from dangerous sargassum seaweed, Algas Organics is able to unblock fish landing sites and reduce the harmful effects of the seaweed’s hydrogen sulphide emissions on local communities.
This is not the first time, however, that Dujon has received recognition for his pioneering work. Earlier this year he earned top accolades at the 2019 Commonwealth Youth Awards, at the organization’s headquarters in London, alongside three others — from India, Nigeria and Solomon Islands — in recognition of their efforts to end hunger, sexual violence, improve sanitation issues, and combat climate change.
Speaking at the ceremony, where the winners shared a £12,000 prize for their projects, Dujon expressed how proud he is of the fact that, through its products, Algas Organics is combating the effects that the harmful seaweed has been having on Saint Lucia’s tourism and fisheries industries. He disclosed then that he would use the prize money to expand his work to other affected small island states as far as Africa and the Pacific.
A year prior he won Invest Saint Lucia’s 2017 Young Entrepreneur Award.
Last week Prime Minister of St Lucia Allen Chastanet extended congratulations to Dujon on being named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 2020 list manufacturing and industry.
In a Facebook post on December 10, 2019, Chastanet wrote, “Congrats to Johanan Dujon on making the 30 under 30 Forbes List in manufacturing & industry. We are so proud of Johanan and the amazing achievements he has had by establishing the Caribbean’s first indigenous agriculture biotech firm to fight invasive seaweed threatening the region. Every Saint Lucian should know this young man who started Algas Organics and converts invasive plant species into organic fungicides, pesticides, and crop fertilizers… Our young people like Johanan continue to show us how creative and innovative they can be. Very proud of you Johanan Dujon.”