THE reference manual for utilising and managing the soil resources of Fiji was launched by the Minister for Primary Industries Joketani Cokanasiga at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community on Friday.
Mr Coknasiga said the manual provided an important pathway to the success of soil classification and interpretation.
"The soil reference manual is now highly recognised as a guide to interpret Fiji soils and their attributes to support plant or crop growth," Mr Cokanasiga said. "A useful component in this manual is the generation of crop gross margins to determine crop profitability which will provide a useful tool in terms of farm management, budgeting and estimating the likely returns or losses of a particular crop."
He said the value of the manual was that its publication supporteds rural development in Fiji.
"The manual will be of value to the Ministry of Primary Industries, relevant government departments, sugar industry institutions, regional and international agencies and NGOs in planning future land assistance programs and formulating rural sector and land use policies," he said.
"The importance of this soil reference manual to the Fiji economy is crop and soil sustainability and crop gross margins which are important information for agriculture development."
He said the importance of knowing what crop grows best on what soil types and the expected market return of crop commodities helped improve efficiency, food security and enhanced farm management systems.