SUNBIZ

Taveuni Farmers Learn How To Mitigate Soil Nutrient Depletion

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has helped Taveuni farmers understand and appreciate the importance of organic matter and nutrient inputs, especially Potassium, for taro production. This is after concluding three days of training on sustainable soil management practice on the island recently.
29 Mar 2022 14:00
Taveuni Farmers Learn How To Mitigate Soil Nutrient Depletion
Farmers and staff from Ministry of Agriculture representatives during a training conducted by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research on Taveuni Island recently.

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has helped Taveuni farmers understand and appreciate the importance of organic matter and nutrient inputs, especially Potassium, for taro production.

This is after concluding three days of training on sustainable soil management practice on the island recently.

In Fiji, traditional gardening systems have intensified and resulted in the depletion of the soil nutrient capital.

 

For Taveuni, intensified taro production since 1990 has also resulted in a significant decline in nutrients from the soil system.

ACIAR research programme manager for soil and land management, James Quilty, said the yield decline in combination of soil organic nitrogen and carbon loss, lack of rotation, pests and diseases, and other agronomic issues have all caused a fall in productivity.

“Soil knowledge is still a constraint on sustainable intensification and resilience of agriculture,” Mr Quilty said.

 

“At present, extension officers and other local agricultural agents are unable to reliably recommend optimal nutrient and soil health management strategies for farmers.”

The Pacific Community (SPC) programme leader for Sustainable Agriculture, Gibson Susumu, said soil health was a vital component of the agricultural system that was not well recognised in traditional and large-scale farmers that have intensified their production in a relatively short period of time.

 

“It must be considered the foundation of productive, sustainable agriculture,” Mr Susumu said.

“Through the Land Resources Division, SPC has worked closely with ACIAR to train in-country staff from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, and Tuvalu to revitalise our farmers’ knowledge of soil health management.”

 

Feedback: shratikan@fijisun.com.fj



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