CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Local extension officers in Saint Lucia engaged in the banana industry are now empowered and able to conduct on-farm diagnosis and determine the pH and nutrient status of the soil.
The new technology was introduced and taught to extension officers employed with the Banana Productivity Improvement Project at a special training session conducted by Taiwanese banana expert Tsung-Hsien Wu.
The officers who also received soil testing kits were taught the general principles of soil sampling, application of the various reagents and diagnosing and testing for soil acidity level and significant elements.
The ability to conduct on-farm tests means that farmers no longer must wait for weeks for results after samples have been collected and sent to a laboratory for testing.
On-farm diagnosis allows farmers to take prompt action to address nutrient deficiencies by applying the correct fertiliser formula and in the right quantity thereby increasing his productivity and returns on his/her investment.
The training took place March 20, 2019, at La Caye, Dennery.