Friday, November 24, 2017

Biodiversity News

25

Creative Entrepreneurship in

La Tourney Vieux Fort

By George Alexander

In the Production of Brooms

 

“Nothing is Wasted”

 

 

 

By Forest Officer Margaret Ishmael Severin

April 2011

On a visit to Mr. George Alexander’s farm in La –Tourney Vieux Fort late last year in 2010, I encountered a special farmer- Mr. George Alexander.  Mr. Alexander is years fifty five (55) years old and works with his wife. Studying his livelihood revealed  that he has the skill to make Latanye brooms, has easy access to and owns land and he has his business savviness using simple yet intelligent and practical approaches  to diversify his income portfolio within and away from broom making that result sustainable production.  The following is a list of strategies noted by Mr. Alexander that makes his model of production successful.

Strategy 1: Diversification of the Types of Brooms for sale to the public

Firstly, Mr. Alexander is a broom producer.  But, he makes eight (8) different kinds of brooms (See Figure 1, 2 and 3) namely:

  1. Two types of house brooms (1.5 metres long)

  2. One for children (0.6 to 0 .9 metres long)

  3. Three types of small brooms (0.4 to .08 metres long)

  4. One ceiling broom (3  to 4 metres long)

  5. One broom for the yard using black plastic strips (1.5 metres long)

                        Figure 1.Three types of Small Latanye brooms            Figure 2 Three types of Large Brooms

Figure 3 Details of the Dimensions of Small (Mini) Brooms

The highest prices are for the ceiling broom ($25), followed by the long brooms that are 1.5 metres long ($15 and $10), the children’s brooms ($6) and the small brooms ($1 to $5) (See Table 1)

 

Table 1 Summary of the Types and Corresponding Prices for Brooms produced by George     

            Alexander

 

Type of Broom

Price

Two types of house brooms

(1.5 metres long)

$10.00

One for children

(0.6 to 0 .9 metres long)

$6.00

Three types of small brooms

(0.4 to .08 metres long)

$1- $5.00

One ceiling broom

(3  to 4 metres long)

$25

One broom  with  black plastic strips

 (1.5 metres long)

$15.00

 

Strategy 2: Optimizing the use of Materials in the Production Cycle

According to Mr. .Alexander, in the production cycle for brooms “nothing is wasted”.  The excess portions of longer Latanye leaves are used to make children’s brooms (See Figure 4a. and 4 b.), dust brooms and small (mini) brooms.  In this way, in terms of productivity, he can make thirty (30) small brooms in two days.

                               

Figure 4 a.                                                                  Figure 4b.

Figure 4a. and 4b. Illustration of the Latanye broom produced from the Excess of larger leaves

Further, his wife is involved in using the excess pieces sticks of the broom handle to make charcoal (See Figure 5). He uses Bwa Madanm (Guettarda Scabra) as the stick of the broom.

 

Figure 5 Excess Pieces of Sticks from Broom Making that is targeted for Charcoal Production

Strategy 3: Diversification of the Utility of Brooms

One limitation of the local Latanye broom is its restrictions to in effectiveness and durability when it gets wet.  Mr. Alexander also uses a black plastic material to make a broom with that has durability and adaptability for cleaning wet cleaning on a normal day he makes 10 brooms from this material. He sells one broom at $15.00 for one (See Table 1 and Figure 6a and 6b).

                 

Figure 6 a                                                                    Figure 6.b

Figure 6 a. and 6b.  Photos of the Plastic material used to make the broom and the assembled

        Broom

 

 

Strategy 4: Timely Procurement of Materials and Sustainability in Production of       

        Latanye Leaves

In the short term his strategy for obtaining Latanye leaves is to purchase the leaves.  Mr. Alexander purchases his leaves from Latanye farmers at the cost of $0.75 for one leaf. Mr. Alexander plans to source leaves from his Latanye plantation in the medium to long term.  In this regard the Forestry Department has provided 250 Latanye plants and technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of a mini Latanye plantation.  But, Mr. Alexander has also embarked on germination of seeds and potting them for the purposes of expansion of his Latanye plantation (See Figure 7).

 

 

 

 

Figure 7 Potted Latanye Plants that Prepared by  the Farmer

Strategy 5: Improving Nutrition and Sustainability of Established Latanye Plantation

Mr. Alexander also incorporates dried animal manure from his farm into the land preparation and around the Latanye plants (See Figure 8).  This is done with a view for water retention in the dry season and for improved nutrition for the Latanye plants.

Figure 8 Latanye Plants with dried animal manure incorporated into soil

 

 

 

 

Strategy 6: Inventory Management to maintain quality, ensure availability and supply of

       brooms

 

Mr. Alexander also stores brooms to ensure quality, availability and continuous supply of brooms based on demand. 

Figure 9 Dry Area for the Storage of Brooms

Summary of Strategies Used By Mr. George Alexander

  1. Strategy 1: Diversification of the Types of Brooms for sale to the public

  2. Strategy 2: Optimizing the use of Materials

  3. Strategy 3: Diversification of the Utility of Brooms

  4. Strategy 4: Timely Procurement of Materials and Sustainability in Production of Latanye

                        Leaves

  5. Strategy 5: Improving Nutrition and Sustainability of the Established Latanye Plantation

  6. Strategy 6: Inventory Management to maintain Quality and ensure Availability and            

                        Supply of Brooms

Recommendations

  1. Use participatory methods with Mr. Alexander, the Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Commerce and the Marketing Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries, The Ministry of Social Transformation, the Ministry of Tourism and St. Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF), James Belgrave Micro Enterprise Development Limited (BELFund), Credit Union, the St. Lucia Development Bank, the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to determine and provide the extent  of technical and financial assistance  needed to enhance the capacity in the system of production, including  quality of materials used and the presentation of products to attract sale of products to more affluent consumers-especially tourists.  The ultimate goal is to increase the revenue for Mr. Alexander.

     

  2. Share the experiences of Mr. Alexander with other Latanye Farmers, school children and prospective handicraft personnel growing plants in similar production systems.

Post Rating

Comments

There are currently no comments, be the first to post one!

Post Comment

Only registered users may post comments.
Biodiversity Unit of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy,
Science and Technology | Choc, Castries, Saint Lucia
   
© 2017 Biodiversity Unit | Design by Savvy Caribbean Marketing   |   Login