Fiji has become a promising investment destination in the Pacific, offering a range of opportunities for investors. Understanding the geography of Fiji is essential for potential investors, including the different types of land and soil found in the country. It’s also important to be aware of which areas are prone to floods and droughts, and which are located on the leeward side.
The Fijian archipelago is made up of more than 300 islands, with 110 of them being inhabited. The two largest islands are Viti Levu, which covers about 7% of Fiji’s land area, and Vanua Levu, which accounts for over 30% of the country’s land mass. The islands are mostly volcanic in origin, and each region has its own unique characteristics and plants.
Whether you’re buying property to build your dream home or start a farm, it’s crucial to know the type of soil present in the area. This knowledge will help you set up your gardens and choose the right flowers and plants to thrive in the region. Fiji’s rich geography and diverse soil types offer endless possibilities for property owners and investors alike.
Soil types in Fiji
Fiji, with its over 300 islands, is known for its friendly people, beautiful scenery, and various agricultural products like Fiji Water, PureFiji, and sugar. The different soil types in Fiji contribute to the growth of these products.
The country has three major classes of landforms: plains, low mountains and hills, and high mountains. Lowland areas are usually formed on beach sand or very oxisol soil that has a high concentration of iron (III), aluminum oxides, and hydroxides. These soils are usually reddish or yellowish in color.
When purchasing land in Fiji, it’s important to carry out soil tests to determine the best plants for your soil type. Leafy greens such as lettuce, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, squash, pumpkin, and radishes are best suited for low lying areas. Sweet potatoes or kumal, which are local to Fiji, grow best in iron-rich soil. Citrus plants, grapes, and strawberries thrive in soil that is rich in iron.
Fiji’s volcanic soil, also known as andisols, is very fertile, making agriculture one of the leading industries in the country. These soils are formed from volcanic ash and are rich in minerals that benefit plants.
For those looking to add some color to their garden, rhododendrons are a great choice for iron-rich soil. These shrubs come in a variety of colors and sizes and are known for thriving in iron-loving soils. Other plants like camellias and gardenias can also be used for exterior beautification.
Makeup of land in Fiji
The islands of Fiji are characterized by diverse and unique landscapes. The country has two distinct climates which are experienced on opposite sides of the islands. The mountainous regions of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are situated in the center of the islands, causing evaporation to occur on the west side, and moisture to be carried towards the east side of the islands. This results in one side of the islands being wetter than the other.
The drier side of the islands is referred to as Babasiga or the leeward side. These areas are protected from the prevailing winds by the elevation of the mountains and are generally dryer than the other side of the islands. The Western Division of Fiji, which includes Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Rakiraki, Tavua, Labasa, and Seaqaqa, are located on the leeward side and are often affected by droughts and flooding during the cyclone season.
On the other hand, the windward side of the islands is upwind and is subject to the prevailing winds, making it the wetter side of the islands. Some of the wetter areas in Fiji include Suva, Rewa, Nausori, the various highlands, Savusavu, and Bua.
When it comes to buying property or starting a garden, it is important to consider the climate and soil type of the specific area. Some plants that thrive in the dryer areas include leafy greens, tomatoes, squash, and radishes. Meanwhile, citrus plants, grapes, and strawberries grow well in areas with rich iron content. In general, the majority of Fiji has fertile volcanic soil, making it an ideal location for agriculture.