Wednesday 17 October 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva – A field guide on Fiji soils, their attributes to support plant growth, and information on soil fertility will be launched this Friday, 19 October, at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Nabua. The launch is facilitated by SPC Land Resources Division (LRD), which coordinated the production of the reference manual.
Fiji Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Joketani Cokanasiga, is the official guest and will launch this publication. Anyone working towards sustainable agricultural development will find it an invaluable framework for understanding and interpreting the soil resources of Fiji.
SPC remains committed to integrated and sustainable agriculture and forestry resource management and development, a key objective in its strategic plan. Soil resources information is a primary, underpinning pillar in support of this objective.
The reference manual provides, in one document, all relevant soil data presented in farmer-friendly language. Target users are agricultural workers, including extension officers and researchers, land use planners, agri-business managers, farmers and others working in rural development.
A useful component of the manual is the matching of land qualities with crop requirements, leading to a determination of suitability classes for 78 crops. In separate formats, single-factor maps for each crop have been generated, and enterprise gross margins have been prepared in Excel spreadsheets.
Much of the information was collected by soil scientists from the Soil Bureau of New Zealand’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, who, in the 1980s, conducted detailed soil surveys of the nine Ministry of Primary Industries agricultural research stations in Fiji. This was followed by the national soil survey of Fiji (Seru and Leslie 1986), with supporting information published in the Fiji Soil Taxonomic Unit Description Handbook (Leslie and Seru 1998).
The manual will be of value to the Ministry of Primary Industries, relevant government departments, sugar industry institutions, international agencies and non-governmental organisations in planning future land development assistance programmes and formulating rural sector and land use policies.
SPC is confident this publication will make a significant contribution to sustainable land development in Fiji.
The launch will start at 4pm at SPC Nabua.
For more information, please contact
and or the