Fish Waste Fertiliser a Potential Game Changer
FISH WASTE FERTILIZER A POTENTIAL GAME CHANGER
Fish waste value-added into a locally produced liquid organic fertiliser will soon be a commercial commodity in Fiji. And its soil enriching non-chemical properties could be a potential game changer for crop farmers.
Entrepreneur, farmer and ex-British Army paratrooper Donald Pickering has been successfully trialing the fish waste fertiliser project for three years, technically and partially funded and supported by the European Union Increasing Agriculture Commodity Trade (EU IACT) which is facilitated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, European Union Increasing Agriculture Commodity Trade (SPC EU IACT). Mr Pickering is also Chairman of the revived Fiji Organic Association (FOA).
Organics is one of 14 commodities under the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council’s governance. The Council represents the interests of about 30,000 crop and livestock farmers throughout Fiji.
Backed by research and tested use of the organic soil stimulant, Mr Pickering says the value-added, unrefined fish waste-turned soil enhancer “can help overcome serious soil deficiency issues.”
He said it has received positive feedback from Nadi Bay Herbs, Sabeto Organic Pawpaw Association and other farmers that are currently experiencing lethargic soil, not forgetting Wakaya Resort with their commercial-oriented organic ginger farms. All have trialed the nutrient booster.
“The response from participating farmers has been
extremely positive. As well as delivering the desired
results, farmers find our liquid product easier to apply
than traditional fertilisers, whether from a backpack spray,
side dresser, or as a soil drench.”
Local farmers aside, Mr Pickering says that a liquid organic fertiliser industry could benefit Fiji’s Agriculture sector.
“The potential for growth at home and regionally is huge, and we plan to distribute the product through hardware stores and garden supply outlets for the home gardener.”
For now, Mr Pickering operates out of a factory in Wailada, Lami, located proximate to his fish processing suppliers.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) is facilitating the development of the FCLC Secretariat with funds provided by the European Union through its Improvement of Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA) Programme.