Knowledge for Development

A Reference Manual for Utilising and Managing the Soil Resources of Fiji

Date: 30/08/2013


This publication provides a broad framework for understanding and interpreting the soil resources of Fiji in bringing together into one document all the relevant available soil data. It describes these data in a user-friendly format designed for use by farmers, institutional extensionists, researchers, agribusiness managers, and land use planners.


A useful component of the manual is the matching of land qualities with crop requirements, leading to a determination of suitability classes for 78 crops. In separate formats, single-factor maps for each crop have been generated, and enterprise gross margins have been prepared in Excel spreadsheets.

Much of the information was collected by soil scientists from the Soil Bureau of New Zealand’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, who, in the 1980s, conducted detailed soil surveys of the nine Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) agricultural research stations in Fiji. This was followed by the national soil survey of Fiji (Seru and Leslie 1986),with supporting information published in the Fiji Soil Taxonomic Unit Description Handbook (Leslie and Seru 1998).These soil surveys were indebted to an earlier national soil resources survey (Twyford and Wright, 1965). This most comprehensive bulletin with accompanying soil and land use maps provided the basis for understanding the genesis and pattern of Fiji soils.

The manual will be of value to the MPI, other government departments, the sugar industry institutions, international agencies and non-government organisations in planning future land development assistance programmes and formulating rural sector and land use policies.

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