Project final report

Improving soil health, agricultural productivity, and food security on atolls - Final report

Date released
31 January 2022
Publication Code

Siosiua Halavatau, Geoff Dean, Graham Lyons, Gibson Susumu, Kabuati Nakabuta, Selotia George, Matio Lonalona, Routan Tongaiaba, Tokintekai Bakineti, Sanfred Smith


This project aimed to improve the livelihoods of the people living in the coral atolls of Kiribati and Tuvalu.

Atolls of the Pacific islands are among the most vulnerable communities to the impacts of climate change and are facing major challenges to their food and income security. With malnutrition being a significant concern, and non-communicable diseases (diabetes, heart disease and micronutrient deficiencies) being increasingly evident, awareness of the effect of poor diet is low.

To achieve food security on atolls, there is a need to address critical issues by building capacity of key stakeholders, and ensuring soil constraints are addressed, for the households of Kiribati and Tuvalu to produce starchy staples and nutritious food. Diets in Kiribati and Tuvalu have traditionally been based on fish and other marine animals and heavy on starch (giant swamp taro and breadfruit), with some fruits but few vegetables. Agricultural production in both countries is restricted by lack of seeds, water shortages and salinity, poor soils, and lack of tools and knowledge of farming practices, and limited guidance from extension services. As a result of limited agricultural production, Kiribati and Tuvalu consume more than they produce.

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