Jonathan Stuart July 8, 2021 04:35 PM ET
Sea moss farmers of Aupicon
Sea moss farmers of the Aupicon Sea Moss Farmers Association say they have suffered huge losses from Hurricane Elsa which ravaged the island last Friday, July 2.
“The hurricane has impacted us in a big way. This is the first time we have suffered so much loss. All the individual farmers of the association have lost about 90% of their sea moss,” Kerwin Samuel, president of the association, told Loop News in an interview.
Samuel said the hurricane struck when their sea moss was ready for harvest, a large portion of which is located at Savannes Bay, Vieux-Fort.
“We were getting ready to harvest our sea moss,” Samuel said, adding that some farmers usually harvest on Saturdays and Sundays and do other work on their farms on weekdays.
Samuel said at the moment, they are replanting some of the broken sea moss while others are being replanted and that it will take about two months before they are ready to be harvested.
Regarding the prolonged issue of theft, Samuel said there were not as many people stealing sea moss from around their farms compared with the past.
According to Samuel, the type of assistance the farmers need at the moment is a bleaching site where they can bleach their sea moss.
“With a bleaching site, people will be able to come and see what we are doing as sea moss farmers and take note. It will also allow everyone, especially the companies that buy from us, to see that our bleaching site is clean and well kept. It will also show that what we do is 100% natural and authentic,” Samuel explained.
He said despite their losses and challenges, the sea moss industry has a bright future, and his association will do all it can to ensure the industry progresses.
“We will continue growing sea moss, whatever it takes,” Samuel said.