In order to provide soil analysis services for farmers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Chien-Hui Syu, a Taiwanese expert on soil analysis, was invited by the Taiwan Technical Mission to visit SVG from May 9 to 23.
During his two-week stay, Syu, accompanied by the officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, fully exchanged views with many local farmers from areas across the country, including Prospect, Argyle, Evesham, Rivulet, Rillan Hill, Vermont, Peter’s Hope, Belleisle, Wallilabou, Orange Hill, Rabacca, and Langley Park.
Syu also held field trainings and workshops to share his expertise with farmers and the related agricultural officers.
The topics of the workshops included soil fertility management, nutrition deficiency diagnosis, application of GIS (Geographic Information System) on soil information, soil investigation and soil analysis methods.
Chun-Chun Huang, the specialist of the Taiwan Technical Mission who arranged Syu’s visit, said that the Taiwan Technical Mission has been collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture on the implementation of the “Project for Strengthening Framers’ Organisations and Improving Fruit and Vegetable Production Technology in St. Vincent and the Grenadines” since 2015.
The Mission is convinced that Syu’s efforts will make significant contribution to the project.
Huang further indicated that the mission and the Ministry of Agriculture have worked hand in hand, under the project, to establish the soil laboratory at the Plant Protection and Quarantine in Campden Park.
The lab, aiming to provide high-quality service on soil analysis to SVG farmers, is designed not only to analyse soil but also to advise local farmers on the usage of fertilizer based on the result of soil analysis.
Syu played a critical role on the establishment and operation of the soil lab, Huang added.
So far, there are more than 400 samples of soil analysed at the Lab.
Huang emphasized that the Lab has offered at least 300 reports with the results of soil analysis to local farmers. Every report comprised the result of soil analysis and the advice on the usage of fertilizer specifically for each farmer’s field.
Renrick Williams, the agriculture instructor of the Plant Protection and Quarantine of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the training by Syu was informative.
It helped to provide a better understanding of visual diagnosis in plants with nutrient deficiencies in younger and older leaves. Soil profile investigation and testing of soil texture by feel can indicate from the field if the soil is more sandy or clay. He also anticipated that the mission and the Ministry of Agriculture could further cooperate on the soil analysis to benefit local farmers.
Syu is the Assistant Researcher of the Agricultural Chemistry Division, Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture. He has visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines three times since 2016 and was very glad to be part of the agricultural cooperation between Taiwan and SVG, Huang said.