The Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM)was invited by the Sonsorol state to visit their island and provide agricultural  related services to help local farmers overcome the challenges in growing crops on saline and sandy soil.

Jeffrey Lin of the TTM, Bernice Sidoi of the Bureau of Agriculture (BOA) and Hartman Ybelmar from TTM‘s demonstration farm were invited by Sonsorol state governor Laura Miles to survey agricultural environment, test soil and water pH value, analyze soil properties, and inspect existing crop growing situation all around the island.

Most of the lands are salinated but they managed to identify some possible cultivable sites.

Though taro, bananas and coconuts can easily be grown on the island, but the strong wind and saline sandy soil inhibit the growth of vegetables, leaving Sonsorol people with limited access to healthy diet.

The team then organized a workshop for fruit and vegetable cultivation and compost making.

Participants learned how to cultivate land, manage appropriate sunlight, keep off from strong wind, and make good drainage. They also learned how to make organic compost and liquid fertilizer by using available resources in the island such as deciduous, dried branches, coconut fiber, rotten trunk, kitchen or fish waste to be mixed and heaped for a period of time to decompose.

Pest and disease control were also taught during the workshop.

Governor Miles expressed her deep appreciation for the team‘s assistance in helping them achieve the goal of attaining food security for the people of Sonsorol state.

Meanwhile, the TTM in Palau has been dedicated to enhancing agricultural development in the island country for more than three decades.

It operates a demonstration farm in Nekken, Aimeliik, and administer a number of programs.

TTM programs include taro seedling production, taro varieties preservation, school farming program, school lunch vegetable supplement, and agricultural techniques consultation.

TTM will also hold a workshop every month this year for farmers from each state, offering courses on farm designing and management, preparing vegetable and fruit seedlings, plant cultivation and management, plant pest and disease control, and organic compost making.

All agencies and organizations interested in farming training can reach TTM at 4886557, 5441012, 7796575, 7782318, or call the Taiwan Embassy at 4888150. (PR)

Participants listened to the lecture on cultivating land, vegetable cultivation and compost amking during the workshop conducted by Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM).

TTM inspected farms and provided guidance to the workshop participants.