Alquimi Renewables and its farming group Island Growers Caribbean formalized a strategic investment partnership this week that will support an aggressive expansion strategy in the Caribbean Islands. As part of the new investment fund Berry Tree Limited established in Trinidad and Tobago, Alquimi and IGC will immediately begin construction of the first phase of the region’s largest commercial greenhouse on a fifteen-acre site at Cove Estate, Tobago.
Ralph Birkhoff, co-founder and CCO of Alquimi and IGC said: “This new strategic partnership is the culmination of years of efforts by my partners to access the level of capital and partner support required to expand our farms on potentially all the islands in the region. Achieving this with strong local partners who share our vision right here in Trinidad is extremely important to us. IGC also launched projects with local investment partners in Barbados, Antigua and St. Lucia earlier this year, and is providing its technology and expertise to the new Aurora Resort & Golf Club in Anguilla to build the first 100% climate-resistant organic farms. In the region.
“The region imports approximately 80% of its fresh produce supply, and with our custom-designed, hurricane-resistant Sprung ™ greenhouse structures and advanced subtropical hydroponic production systems, IGC farms will now be able to offer to local customers trade volumes extremely categories of high quality fresh produce that are currently supplied by import – and continue to do so during hurricanes. Island Growers focuses on various green crops as well as a selection of berry, tomato and pepper varieties.
Tobago’s new farm will include production of 50,000 pounds. per month of various berries including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries for a fresh local supply and potential export nearby. “Our plans for the Tobago farm include increasing the scale of berry production and possibly adding a processing facility and starting the export of regional frozen products.”
Sustainable market gardening in the Caribbean is constantly challenged by local climatic risks. In addition to the annual hurricane threat that begins on June 1 each year, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has lost 70% of its traditional agricultural production due to ash fallout from the recent volcanic eruption.
“Our mission is to introduce a higher level of protected agriculture designed specifically for the region in order to overcome the multiple risks of agriculture in this part of the world and to start strengthening national food security.” Birkhoff said.