Saint Lucia
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Dozens Graduate from Taiwan-funded Sea Moss Training Workshop

His Excellency Peter Chia-yen Chen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, right, presents a certification of completion to one of the participants.
His Excellency Peter Chia-yen Chen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, right, presents a certification of completion to one of the participants.

SAINT Lucia’s growing sea moss sector is poised to reap even greater rewards, thanks to the injection of requisite funding and technical assistance from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

On Thursday, June 15, 2023, a certification ceremony was held at the Department of Fisheries conference room in Castries for nearly forty participants who benefited from a three-day sea moss training workshop held earlier this month.

The purpose of the workshop was to build capacity among sea moss processors in food safety and preservation. The workshop also sought to create new and innovative products that will be introduced to the local and overseas markets. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Yang, an expert from Taiwan, who has extensive experience in the use of sea moss in the food and cosmetic industries.

In his remarks at the ceremony, His Excellency Peter Chia-yen Chen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, congratulated the participants for their dedication and participation. Despite many of them having busy schedules, he thanked them for finding time to devote to the training. He also thanked the other stakeholders who made the workshop possible.

“I would also like to take this occasion to express my gratitude to Hon. Minister Alfred Prospere and the Department of Fisheries for their support and enthusiasm in enhancing the development of the sea moss industry,” said Ambassador Chen. “It will take your support to make this good work possible.”

Ambassador Chen highlighted the high value placed on Saint Lucian sea moss, noting that better promotion can lead to greater rewards for the product.

“It has been said that Saint Lucia’s sea moss is fed with clear water and nutrients from the nearby volcanic lands, and it is rich in mineral content with many health benefits,” he stated. “I’m also a Saint Lucian sea moss fan. But how to promote this product to a bigger international arena needs a strategy.”

He added: “The schedule and content of this three-day workshop provided some way out. I note that Professor Yang has introduced some processing methods of sea moss, extraction and purification procedures, consultation on sea moss valued added products, and on business application. I would like to thank him for coming all the way from Taiwan to share his expertise with us for this workshop.”

Ambassador told the participants that the certificates they were receiving were not only proof that they had completed the course, but also that they had learnt more about sea moss’ characteristics, how to manage sea moss, and how to transform it into a more valuable product.

“The Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) will continue to assist the people and Government of Saint Lucia in exploring more of diverse agriculture industry, optimizing the substantial resources the ocean provides, and pursue better agro-processing achievements.”

For his part, Hon. Alfred Prospere, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security, and Rural Development, said the sea moss industry has contributed significantly to Saint Lucia’s economic growth by providing sustainable food security to the rural communities involved in growing, processing, and exporting sea moss. He added that a drive through the Praslin and Aupicon communities emphasizes the impact of sea moss on these areas.

“Recognizing the importance of sea moss, the Government of Saint Lucia has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve production, efficiency, and the phyto-sanitary conditions in the sector,” Hon. Prospere said. “The distribution of environmentally friendly equipment to farmers in Praslin and Aupicon, the distribution of bleaching and drying tables to farmers in Aupicon, and materials to construct tables to farmers in Praslin. Also, in an effort to evaluate the standards of bleaching and drying of sea moss, assistance with the renovation and upgrade of the Praslin Sea Moss Farmers Association’s processing plant in an effort to meet the USFDA standards.”

Although most of the sea moss produced in Saint Lucia is exported in a raw or dry form, Hon. Prospere said there is an increasing number of people involved in producing value-added products from sea moss. The workshop, he stated, represents a continuation of Government’s efforts to support the industry and ensure its continued growth and trajectory.

“Our standards must be high, and our standards must be maintained,” Hon. Prospere stressed. “If we are to remain in the market and to maintain the status of producing the best sea moss in the world, we must ensure that we maintain the standards.”

Hon. Prospere thanked Ambassador Peter Chen and the Government of Taiwan for their continued support and effort in sustaining livelihoods in Saint Lucia’s agriculture sector.