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Local company markets biofertilizer from sargasso

Puerto Morelos, Q.R. — A local company has put the masses of unwanted sargasso to use as a biofertilizer for coco, tomato and sugarcane crops around the country.

The company Alquimar says they scoop up about one ton of sargasso a day from Cancun and Puerto Morelos beaches, which is processed in a plant in Cancun. The result is a biofertilizer that they say has already yielded a 30 percent increase in their first crop tests.

Alquimar owner Luis Masia says “One ton a day is nothing compared to all the sargassum that comes to our shores,” he said “hence the need for all those who can take advantage of this algae to join in a value chain to try to get the most out of it.”

He explained that the fertilizer is produced without additional chemicals and that after processing, the remaining organic matter, known as the bagasse, is used to create the biofertilizer. He says they have provided the biofertilizer to test, free of charge, to cocoa farmers in Tabasco as well as sugarcane growers in Veracruz and in the south of Quintana Roo.

Tomato growers in Puebla have also been using the sargasso biofertilizer, all with positive results.

“Our optimum capacity is 5,000 liters per week, although we are still in testing, the biofertilizer is already on sale online,” explained Masia who is part of the Puerto Morelos project for use of the seaweed.

He says they have even tested the biofertilizer on vanilla, a plant that is difficult to produce in this region, noting that those results turned out very well.