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Hydroponics, hope for the food shortage in Montserrat

Hopes of a new beginning to revitalise Agriculture

Montserrat-Hydroponics-land-prep-(6)In an environment and at a time where the Island of Montserrat, while on the one hand is talking and touting its moves towards development and economic growth, Agriculture is sinking further on the decline, almost nonexistent, as it must depend on the ‘food boat’ from Dominica and elsewhere, two French men have embarked on the development of hydroponics.

These two young men have incorporated a company called Montserrat Hydroponics Ltd. under which, they will operate with the aim high quality vegetables using the latest hi-tech farming technologies.

Marc de Dinechin and Nicolas Tirard inform that they will, “use Nutrient Film Technique (NFT). ” It consists of the use of channels in which water and nutrients recirculate, thus reducing water consumption and sewage release.

Marc is a French Agronomist Engineer (M.Eng), defending a Ph.D in Genetics at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. Nicolas is also a is a French Agronomist Engineer (M.Eng) both having graduated from Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique de Montpelier (France). Both have worked in neighbouring island Guadeloupe in various areas including teaching Biology.

They plan a first production unit consisting of a 2,000 soft greenhouse to produce different varieties of lettuce, spinach, herbs, and other various leaf vegetables.

The venture they say, comes on the background that, “volcanic activity destroyed most of Montserrat/s arable lands over the past 17 years,” adding that, “the supply of fresh vegetables became a real challenge for the inhabitants of Montserrat.”

The observation is made that fresh vegetables shortage are mostly covered by importation from Dominica and elsewhere, often of poor quality and expensive. Also noted is that the loss of currency for the Montserrat economy makes food security one of the top priorities of the island.

We visited their site where, as can be seen in photos here the day work began in preparing the lands for the hydroponics systems. There according to Mark and Nicolas, Montserrat Hydroponics Ltd. plans to use modern agricultural technologies to provide high quality vegetables on a regular basis, leading to tomatoes and peppers. They expect also to have enough to export and hope to find markets in Antigua. “There are lots of hotels, restaurants and tourists in Antigua where we can sell our produce,” Marc pointed out.

One Response to “Hydroponics, hope for the food shortage in Montserrat”

  1. bubblers says:

    This is a great article, it would be great to see them be successful, thank you for sharing this!

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Hopes of a new beginning to revitalise Agriculture

Montserrat-Hydroponics-land-prep-(6)In an environment and at a time where the Island of Montserrat, while on the one hand is talking and touting its moves towards development and economic growth, Agriculture is sinking further on the decline, almost nonexistent, as it must depend on the ‘food boat’ from Dominica and elsewhere, two French men have embarked on the development of hydroponics.

These two young men have incorporated a company called Montserrat Hydroponics Ltd. under which, they will operate with the aim high quality vegetables using the latest hi-tech farming technologies.

Marc de Dinechin and Nicolas Tirard inform that they will, “use Nutrient Film Technique (NFT). ” It consists of the use of channels in which water and nutrients recirculate, thus reducing water consumption and sewage release.

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Marc is a French Agronomist Engineer (M.Eng), defending a Ph.D in Genetics at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. Nicolas is also a is a French Agronomist Engineer (M.Eng) both having graduated from Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique de Montpelier (France). Both have worked in neighbouring island Guadeloupe in various areas including teaching Biology.

They plan a first production unit consisting of a 2,000 soft greenhouse to produce different varieties of lettuce, spinach, herbs, and other various leaf vegetables.

The venture they say, comes on the background that, “volcanic activity destroyed most of Montserrat/s arable lands over the past 17 years,” adding that, “the supply of fresh vegetables became a real challenge for the inhabitants of Montserrat.”

The observation is made that fresh vegetables shortage are mostly covered by importation from Dominica and elsewhere, often of poor quality and expensive. Also noted is that the loss of currency for the Montserrat economy makes food security one of the top priorities of the island.

We visited their site where, as can be seen in photos here the day work began in preparing the lands for the hydroponics systems. There according to Mark and Nicolas, Montserrat Hydroponics Ltd. plans to use modern agricultural technologies to provide high quality vegetables on a regular basis, leading to tomatoes and peppers. They expect also to have enough to export and hope to find markets in Antigua. “There are lots of hotels, restaurants and tourists in Antigua where we can sell our produce,” Marc pointed out.