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Vetiver Technology Strengthens North Leeward Farmers in Fighting Erosion

Byeditor

Apr 2, 2024

Hand2Earth recently organized their 4th workshop for farmers in North Leeward. The workshop, focusing on Vetiver Systems Technology, took place in Rose Bank from March 18th-22nd. Farmers from various villages in the area, including Petite Bordel, Troumaca, Rose Hall, and Spring Village, attended the training. Sponsored by the GEF Small Grants Programme, 21 farmers were educated on the theory, science, and practical application of Vetiver Systems Technology.

During the workshop, participants gained practical experience in various aspects of the technology, such as land contouring, plant preparation, planting, and soil microbiology. Additionally, soil samples from their farms were tested to determine pH levels and soil composition. Hand2Earth, with funding from the GEF Small Grants Programme, has established four vetiver nurseries in Belmont, Troumaca Bottom, and Bottom Village.

Since the initiation of Hand2Earth’s Farmland Restoration project in 2022, a total of 55 farmers from the North Leeward area have received training in Vetiver Systems Technology. The vetiver plant is known for its effectiveness in erosion control, groundwater retention, and soil quality restoration, leading to improved crop yield. Participants in the program are supported in implementing vetiver systems on their farms, provided with plants, tools, vegetable seeds, and ongoing technical assistance.

Ms. Vonnie Roudette, Hand2Earth’s Vetiver Systems Trainer, emphasizes the importance of the project in the area due to the historical significance of vetiver hedgerows planted a century ago for soil conservation. Many of these hedgerows have been destroyed, resulting in widespread land erosion and loss of topsoil. With the support of the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme, the project in North Leeward continues to focus on developing a Vetiver Heritage Educational Site, establishing farm sites, providing vetiver craft training workshops, and conducting community education activities.

By editor

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