7 Aug 2008

Kiribati research centre to help with atoll soil improvement

4:10 pm on 7 August 2008

A new atoll agriculture research and development centre has been established in Kiribati to help communities maintain their food security.

The centre has been established in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

The SPC's participatory extension officer, Judith van Eijnatten, says scarce land resources and infertile alkaline soils make atoll agriculture very difficult.

"The challenge there is to create soil. A lot of other food stuff is more or less imported, so there's a dependency on imports. A third challenge is the health status. There's a health crisis related to non-communicable diseases. In order to tackle these three challenges, this centre of agriculture has been created."

Judith van Eijnatten says the research will benefit all atolls in the Pacific region.