Barbadians and residents of Barbados will soon have the option to purchase quality, organic “cold weather crops” such as greens, herbs and berry fruits at reasonable prices.
That’s because Ralph Birkhoff, Dutch-Canadian investor, will be launching operations in Barbados with the first 100 percent climate smart and Category 5 hurricane resistant greenhouse system in the Caribbean. The greenhouse employs a customised hydroponic system that delivers the highest potential crop yields while using a fraction of the energy and water required by other hydroponic systems.
The Founder and Chief Operating Officer of US-based Alquimi Renewables and Co-Founder of its farming operations group, Island Growers Caribbean, is excited to be producing more than 4,000 pounds per month of these organic, quality produce in an effort to reduce food imports.
Island Growers Caribbean will not be competing with local farmers as it will be growing previously imported crops only. The agri-solutions business will also be hiring young people to work on its 5,000 square feet greenhouse farm.
“It’s a big part of our social mandate, we really want to try to attract young men and women, especially back into agriculture and use our high-tech farm as a way to do that.”
Island Growers Caribbean is working in collaboration with the local Armag Farms and has received guidance and facilitation from Invest Barbados. Additionally, the company has made an initial first-phase equity capital investment of US$500,000 and is committed to investing up to US$3 million by phase three of the project.