Strengthening Farmers’ Organizations Improving Production Technology

Extract From An Interview With Staff Of The Taiwan Technical Mission Here In SVG. Full Interview With Video To Follow

COOKE: Please introduce yourself and how long have you been in St. Vincent and the Grenadines? Do you enjoy life here?

Hello, my name is Chun-Chun Huang, or you can call me Ted. I have been working in SVG since August 2016, I was a project assistant working in the soil analysis lab at Campden Park, I took van every day from Pembroke to Campden Park, just like a vincy.

Because we were working so hard together, Taiwan Technical Mission upgraded me. Now I’m the specialist. Even I have more responsibility and plenty of work to do to benefit Vincentian now.

I still enjoy the life in St. Vincent, I went for the Independent Day Celebration, Nine Morning, Christmas, Sailboat competition, Ester, Carnival and the weather is nice and people are very friendly.

 COOKE: Could you describe the project you are responsible for? What is your duty in the project?

We have been working hard on this project, and the works of my parts are really challenging. I have different works at different locations, sometimes I have to visit farmers to see if there’s anything we could help.

However, the main purpose is to improve the technology of agriculture in SVG, to bring some know-how, some strategy to see if these things we brought could get some effort to SVG.

First, we have built a soil lab at Compden Park, and we have been training our cooperatives such as how to take soil samples, how to test the soil fertility, because there’re different testing items such as soil pH, soil organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, soil texture etc., each item has their own SOP, we need to make sure the testing results are correctly, reliable, it’s not an easy work. Evil is hiding in the details.

Second, we also built the compost facility at Orange Hill, we use the materials from the Orange Hill farm such as the grass, mango leaves, branches and chicken manure from local farm. We want to recycle the agricultural waste, to protect our environment as much as possible.

I notice that people would clean the grass, trees, drainage by the road before Christmas every year so I was wondering how you deal with these agricultural waste.

Maybe we could consider if it could be transferred to Orange Hill to turn into compost in the future as possible, so we could use it to improve the soil fertility in SVG. And we can also turn the agriculture waste into the gold.

Last, I also collected some information about the pesticides in SVG, people should be aware of that don’t use the same pesticide continuously to control the pests problem, we need have some rotation to prevent the pests build up the resistance to the chemical.

And we also trying to encourage people to use something safer, environment-friendly way to control the problem and also protect the environment.

COOKE: Now, the project is complete. What achievements the project has made? How can the project benefit Vincentian farmers?

Some of my friends also had the same question to me, so I want to thank you for providing us such a good opportunity. Let us can have some introduction about what we are doing here, and also what we contribute to Vincentian.

As I said before, we have built up the soil lab and also the ability to test the soil nutrients here.

We have to go to farmers’ land all over SVG to take soil samples back to the lab and test the soil fertility, It’s very impressive that some farmers plant their crops upon high mountains at very steep slope, work very hard, so that we want them to get some improvement, to get more income based on their hard work, so after testing the soil we will give the farmers fertilizer recommendations based on our results to help farmers to reduce their cost of applying fertilizer, and also increase the yield.

We also have a compost facility in orange hill, it can help to recycle the agriculture waste, make it into compost to improve the soil fertility.

We have distributed biofertilizer or compost tea to farmers for free during this project. We are trying to help farmers to improve their soil fertility so they could have harvested better and more production.

 COOKE: It is the holiday season. Could you say a few words to Vincentian farmers and the readers of News784?

First, I want to thank all the cooperatives work together with us and also thank God for bringing us together.

And I think you must be familiar to “Good Morning” it’s Nine Morning” Christmas is coming.

I wish all of you have a healthy, safe and happy Christmas with your friends and family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.