(PRESS RELEASE) — The Vegetable, Fruit and Upland Crop Quality and Safety Improvement Project in St. Kitts and Nevis, executed by the Taiwan International Cooperation and development Fund (ICDF), has started to promote since this February the utilization of organic compost, after conducting an experiment successfully at the Needs Must Farm.

Taiwanese project specialists compared final effects resulted from the use of chemical fertilizer and organic compost to cultivate crops and vegetables and later discovered that by comparison tests, organic compost can obviously increase agricultural and horticultural traits of fruits and vegetables, including relevant yield, quality, and quantity and plant development.

Based on these results, compost application will empirically play an important role in coming to local farmers’ aid.

Taiwan Technical Mission was set up in 1982, one year ahead of its diplomatic ties with St. Kitts and Nevis, to undertake various development projects in the field of agriculture, horticulture, and technology to assist the latter in transforming its sugar cane economy into an upgraded industries like tourism and service sectors.

The above-mentioned Vegetable, Fruit and Upland Crop Quality and Safety Improvement Project” is currently one of the mutually-beneficial projects of technical cooperation which have contributed tremendously to the development of the Federation.

As a spirit of “Good Agricultural Practices” (GAP) is abided by that project, safety of the crops circulated in the market has been thus ensured and reinforced. To improve quality and quantity of agricultural products, that project has promoted not only “Rapid Bioassay Pesticide Residues” (or RPBR system) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM), but also soil fertility test and compost application.

So far, fruits and vegetables produced by 1,829 local farmers have been presented for pesticide and fungicide residue test, and almost ninety-five percent of the samples passed the test. Furthermore, 294 soil samples in St. Kitts & Nevis have been tested for their fertility, which indicates that a common problem in soil does exist, i.e. phosphorus deficiency.

To resolve issues as such, Taiwanese specialists Ke-Chun Lin (Kevin) and Shih-Lung Cheng (Mario) have promoted compost utilization and designed an experiment pattern in the Needs Must Farm, which have received great responses from local farmers, people and the governments of two countries. It is generally agreed that before the finish of that project ended in next year, more great success and benefits of common interests would be generated.