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Local farmers briefed about strategies relating to fertilizer use

Local farmers briefed about strategies relating to fertilizer use

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Local farmers were on Monday, April 16 briefed on new strategies that will allow them to maximize their production, while reducing cost, when the Agricultural Input Warehouse Limited held a Fertilizer Facts meeting at the Sunset Shores Hotel.{{more}}

Lennox Francis, General Manager at the Input Warehouse, explained that farmers were complaining about the type of fertilizer being made available to them.

According to Francis, while some farmers contended that the physically blended fertilizer worked well in the fields, others were not satisfied.

“There are farmers who prefer the chemically compounded fertilizer,” Francis said.

Reuben Robertson, Chief Agricultural Officer, further explained that some farmers were also complaining that something needed to be done about the fertilizer and that it was not being as effective.

“But it is a fact that soil is already rich with the macro nutrients,” Robertson explained, adding that nutrients including Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus were found in local soil.

It was then decided, after some discussion, that with the high cost of fertilizer, it was best to import the commodity with a higher micro nutrient content.

He further contended that based on observation, this decision was a good one and that the new fertilizer imported had “created a revolution” not only in the banana industry, but in other crops as well.

“The micro nutrients are very important to plant growth,” the Chief Agricultural Officer said, adding that the addition of micro nutrients was like treating a malnourished child and that it builds the crops’ immunity to diseases which are now affecting the agricultural sector.

He assured farmers present that they too were able to increase yields.

“But we can’t rest on our laurels; we must continue to explore all the possibilities with respect to the best type of fertilizer that we should use in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” the Chief Agricultural Officer said.

He concluded that the workshop was much needed in order to expose the farmers to ideas for them to be able to continue to build the sector.

Farmers heard presentations by David Christopherson, Managing Director of Eastern Caribbean Fertilizer Co (Barbados) Limited, Dr Terrence Fullerton, Manager Agro Services International Inc and Dr Robert Mullen, Chief Agronomist, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. (DD)

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