Sustainability Stories #20
Transitioning towards Smart agricultural practices
With the idea to provide healthy and sustainable food from 'Farm to Fork' to the Heritage Resorts, Heritage The Villas, and Le Château de Bel Ombre restaurant, Agrïa, the agribusiness sector of Rogers Group, started a journey a few years back towards Smart Agriculture practices. A series of measures advocating for fresh and healthy products while reducing carbon footprint and can be easily implemented by anyone.
In 2016, a vegetable garden was established at ‘Le Château de Bel Ombre’, marking the start of biodiverse agriculture methods for Agrïa, which heads the sustainable development of 2,100 hectares of land located in the preserved region of Bel Ombre. In February 2019, Agrïa dedicated 7 hectares of land to start Smart agricultural practices. In October 2019, two insect-proof greenhouses of 2500m2 each, were installed. The remaining 6 hectares in the open fields are used mainly for agricultural purposes.
Here are some best practices Agrïa has already implemented to move towards Smart agriculture:
Encourage the growth of auxiliary plants as they act as bait by attracting insects.
Encouraging the growth of auxiliary plants helps significantly to prevent and reduce the use of insecticides needed to produce fruits and vegetables. The crops are healthier, and this method has less impact on the bees, which are essential pollinators!
Compost, compost, and compost!
Our compost is 100% homemade and is composed of unsold crops and garden waste coming from the maintenance of Heritage Resorts hotels and Heritage Villas Valriche. This organic compost helps to reduce significantly the volume of fertilisers used in our fields, and by ripple effect, the methane emissions from landfills, lowering our carbon footprint.
Set up of two bee-friendly greenhouses
Pollination being essential to produce fruits and vegetables. beehives have been installed next to each greenhouse. A dedicated entrance allows the circulation of the bees, while ensuring that the structures remain hermetic to other insects.
Seasonal crops in open fields
We encourage the growth of seasonal vegetables such as pumpkin, purple taro, carrots, onions, lettuce, and beets. Each vegetable seed is unique, and planting at the good season improves the crop.