In Barbados, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the International Trade Centre (ITC), The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and the National Conservation Commission (NCC) are partnering to transform coconut husks and shells into biogas, using bioreactor technology. The biogas will be used as a source of fuel while the digestate will be used as an input in agricultural operations. The digestate is high in nutrients and organic matter and can be used as a valuable potting media, fertilizer and mulch.
Coconut produces a tremendous amount of waste which is often improperly disposed of, leading to environmental and health risks. Waste management is a strategic area of focus for the “Alliances for the Coconut Industry Development Expansion and Enhanced Support for the Caribbean” project. The project is seeking to develop creative ways of transforming coconut waste into economically and environmentally sustainable products. According to CARDI’s Representative, Ansari Hosein, “coconut has tremendous economic potential and Barbadians are scratching the surface when it came to developing products from it.”
The project partners have begun construction of the biogas digester on the NCC’s compound. Additionally, the NCC has procured a heavy duty shredder to efficiently shred the raw material. Once the trial is successful, the operations will be scaled up across the project countries. This holds enormous benefits for the economy, society and the environment.
This project is funded by the European Union (EU) in accordance with the Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP) managed by the CARIFORUM Secretariat. The project is being implemented by CARDI and the ITC and other alliance partners in 12 countries.