Call to maintain soil health

ABOUT 200 canegrowers and industry stakeholders were part of the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji’s field day in Lautoka where maintaining the health of soil for farming was highlighted.

Assistant Minister for Sugar George Vegnathan said soil was essential for crops in a way that they provided a medium for plant growth.

“Soils not only provide essential nutrients and minerals but support root systems, provide air for gaseous exchange between roots and atmosphere, protect plants from erosion, hold water and maintain adequate aeration,” he said.

“Thus, special care is needed to maintain soil health for sustainable productivity.”

He said climate change posed a danger towards the growth of the industry.

“Being a tropical country, we are vulnerable to climate change particularly the agriculture sector. Depleting soil health and soil erosion are results of climate change impacts.

“The sugar industry must strengthen its resilience to climate change.

“Improving the health of the soil by consistently applying sustainable management techniques is important in achieving this.”

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