Hand2Earth recently held its fourth workshop for farmers in North Windward, with a focus on Vetiver Systems Technology. The workshop took place at Rose Bank from March 18 to 22 and was attended by farmers from Petite Bordela, Rose Bank, Troumaca, Rose Hall and Spring Village. This training was sponsored by the GEF Small Grants Program, which provided funding for Hand2Earth to establish four vetiver nurseries in Belmont, Troumaka Botom and Botom Village.

During the workshop, participants gained hands-on experience in various aspects of Vetiver Systems Technology, including soil contouring, plant preparation, planting and soil microbiology. Soil samples from their farms were also tested to determine pH levels and soil composition. Ms. Vonnie Roudette, Hand2Earth’s vetiver system trainer, emphasized the importance of the project in the area as historic vetiver hedges planted 100 years ago to conserve the soil have largely been destroyed, leading to widespread soil erosion and topsoil loss.

Since Hand2Earth’s farmland restoration initiative began in 2022, a total of 55 farmers in the North Leeward area have been trained in Vetiver System Technology. This technology is very effective for erosion control, groundwater retention and restoring soil quality to improve crop yields. Participants are supported in setting up vetiver systems on their farms with plants, tools vegetable seeds and ongoing technical support are provided.

The project will continue to develop a vetiver heritage education site establish farms hold vetiver craft training workshops and participate in ongoing community education activities with support from the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme.

By Samantha Johnson

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