Soils Clinic at the San Antonio Green Market in Trinidad and Tobago

The FAO Representation in Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with the Inter American

Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the University of the West Indies (UWI),

the Ministry of Food Production and the San Antonio Green Market hosted a “Healthy Soils, Healthy Food Clinic” for farmers and the general public on 25th April 2015.   The event took place at the San Antonio Green Market in Santa Cruz, Trinidad and was conducted in commemoration of The U.N. General Assembly declaration of 2015 as the International Year of Soils (IYS). 

Ms. Vicki Assevero, representative for the San Antonio Green Market, opened the event with a brief discussion on the importance of soils. She informed the audience that the farmers who sold their produce in the Green Market had expressed a keen interest in learning about areas in Trinidad with the most fertile soils, as well as the health status of the soils where they grow their crops.

Mr. Kervin Stephenson, a soil scientist with the IICA, made a presentation on the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy soils, indicating the differences in their chemical composition.  He used a series of soil type samples that were provided by the Ministry of Food Production and other practical materials to share helpful information on soil management techniques.

Dr. Gauis Eudoxie, UWI lecturer, discussed the geology of soils in Trinidad and showed the location of healthy and resilient soils in the island.  The FAO Representative, Dr. Lystra Fletcher Paul, spoke briefly on visual assessment tools for soils.  This was followed by the testing of farmers’ soil samples by Dr. Eudoxie and Dr. Ronald Roopnarine, also of the UWI, to assess pH levels and soil quality using a soil testing kit and the visual assessment field guide.  The session concluded with an interactive question and answer segment. The Soils Clinic was a resounding success. Farmers appreciated the information provided and were enthusiastic and engaged. 

(Photo courtesy Anthony Keung Fatt)


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