First Vincentian Soil Expert Attends WCSS

(L-R) Mr. Chun-Chun Huang (Specialist of Taiwan Technical Mission), Mr. Rattal Lal (President of IUSS) and Mr. Renrick Williams

From August 12th to 17th, 2018, Mr. Renrick Williams, an expert on soil analysis and instructor of Plant Protection and Quarantine, Ministry of Agriculture, attended the 21st World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in Brazil which is held every four years by International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS).

As the only representative of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Williams made a presentation titled “Soil Fertility Survey in St. Vincent and the Grenadines” during the Congress. As a matter of fact, it was the first time for SVG to send a soil expert to let the world know about Vincentian soil.

WCSS is one of the most important meetings focusing on soil in the world with a history back to 1920s. It aims to gather all soil experts to answer questions like: How to feed a hungry planet? How to fuel an energy-hungry planet? How to reach a balance between protection of biodiversity and sustainable land management for agriculture production? These questions are subjects related to the multiple functions of soil.

This year, more than 3,000 members from the world attended the WCSS. Mr. Williams not only introduced the volcanic soil properties in SVG, but also demonstrated how the soil analysis research has been proceeded in SVG to the attendees. He shared his expertise with many soil experts and researchers and received a warm response.

Mr. Williams stated that it was an informative and rewarding experience for him. During the Congress, more people learned of St. Vincent and the Grenadines through its soil. More importantly, he also had opportunity to exchange views about Vincentian soil with many soil experts and scientists from the world.

Mr. Chun-Chun Huang, a specialist of the Taiwan Technical Mission, said that the Mission, with the full support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, coordinated this preliminary soil fertility study under the “Project of Strengthening Farmers’ Organizations and Improving Fruit and Vegetable Production Technology in St. Vincent and the Grenadines” which has been implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Taiwan Technical Mission since 2015.

Mr. Huang added that soil analysis, with the establishment of the Soil Laboratory located at the Plant Protection and Quarantine in Campden Park, is a core component among the mutual cooperation between Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. With Mr. Williams’ presentations at WCSS, the accomplishment of SVG-Taiwan collaboration on soil analysis could be demonstrated before the world.