Theme: “Soils: where food begins”.
Venue: Sugar Cane Grower’s Council Hall, LAUTOKA
World Soil Day was organized by Sugar Research Institute of Fiji on 5th December, 2022 at such a large scale and being the time first time to be celebrated by the sugar industry. Mr. Yogesh J. Karan, Permanent Secretary for Sugar Industry was the Chief Guest and attended by Sugar Industry stakeholders, cane growers, invited guests from private & public sector and school students.
World Soil Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.
“I would like to draw your attention on Our Soils in Fiji. Soils are very important for sustaining sugar industry which is directly contributing to Fiji’s economy. Through the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji data, I understand that the soils in sugarcane belts are mostly, naturally very acidic, where, the pH mostly ranges from 3.2 to 6.0. It has been observed that in Viti Levu about 83 per cent of soils under sugarcane are acidic (pH <6), whereas, more than 95 per cent of soils in Vanua Levu are acidic”, Mr. Karan said.
Mr. Karan added, on acknowledging the effort of the government in funding programs that improve soil health such as Green Manuring Technology, Liming process, Mill Mud & providing fertilizer subsidy “To increase soil fertility and reduce acidity, Green Manuring Technology was introduced after research by SRIF. It involves growing green manure crops like urdi, cowpeas, & mung bean that boosts nitrogen presence in soil to improve the soil health of sugarcane fields. In the government financial year 2020/2021, a total of $700,000 was set aside after consultations by Ministry of Sugar Industry & the Sugar Institutions to support implementation of green manuring technology.