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Challenge Fund: 9 Seychelles' circular economy pitches awarded grants

Victoria, Seychelles | May 20, 2024, Monday @ 09:28 in Business | By: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4406
Challenge Fund: 9 Seychelles' circular economy pitches awarded grants

Hydroponics is the method of growing plants in a nutrient solution rather than soil in a system. (Choo Yut Shing, Flickr) Photo licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Hydroponics as a cleaner way to practice agriculture and recycling tyres found in nature are among the business pitches that clinched the top prizes in the Seychelles' circular economy and a boot camp and pitch competition.

Twenty-two participants who attended the training camp at the Savoy Resort and Spa on Mahe were also taught how to make a successful pitch, giving them the chance to win between $15,000 to $20,000 under the Challenge Fund.

The fund is a financing programme developed by the Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund. The project, launched in March, is being implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Barry Nourrice, an agriculture and environment consultant, told SNA that the plan he presented is for a hydroponics farm and is one of the nine proposals to receive the grant.

Hydroponics is the method of growing plants in a nutrient solution rather than soil in a system where the roots grow into a liquid solution fortified with all the essential nutrients for healthy plants.

"As with circular economy one of the things that businesses must be able to manage is the waste they produce, I believe this system will help keep farming sustainable," he explained.

Nourrice added that since farmers were unable to retrieve nutrients they add into the soil, hydroponics is a way to help them continually "re-use what they have put in the water.

Seychelles generates an average amount of 80,000 tonnes of waste annually and the primary landfill at Providence is expected to reach full capacity by 2025.

Faced with a scarcity of land, the country will need to adopt a sustainable solid waste management system.

With this in mind, another grant winner, Andy Julie, said that he will be setting up a business to tackle the number of old tires found in nature.

"It is an eyesore at the moment and while driving by, I realised that the tyres could be turned into something that people can use in their everyday lives," he said.

Julie said he has done extensive research to help him present a solid project.

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Tags: hydroponics farm, circular economy

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