Jiangxi Provincial Highway Society:

A Seminar on Vetiver Planting Techniques for Roadside Slope Protection

 

  A Plenary Session of Road Technique Committee under the Jiangxi Provincial Highway Society together with a Seminar on Vetiver Planting Techniques for Roadside Slope Protection were held at Fuzhou city, Jiangxi Province at the same time from 22 to 23 July, 2004. These two meetings were jointly held by the Road Technique Committee under the Jiangxi Provincial Highway Society, and the Highway Technology Department under the Jiangxi Provincial Center for S&T Consultant and Service. 48 persons, including heads of Highway Bureaus, Transportation Bureaus, Highway Project Administrations, and Highway Design Institutions from 9 Cities as well as commissars concerned, attended the meetings. Programs of the meetings were quite compact and tense. On 22 evening, arrangements for roadside slope protection with vetiver techniques and road construction in the year of 2004 were discussed at the plenary session of Road Technique Committee.

 On 23, a Seminar on Vetiver Planting Techniques for Roadside Slope Protection was held. Chairman of the seminar was Senior Engineer FU Hengsheng, who is the Acting Director, Vice Chief- secretary, Jiangxi Provincial Highway Society, and Director of the Road Technology Department under the Society. 5 major papers, namely, The Present Statue, Effects and Keys to the Technique of Roadside Slope Protection with Vetiver; Slope Protection with Contour Vetiver Hedges in Highway Projects; Some Experiences on Vetiver Planting at Roadsides along Dongxiang-Linchuan Grade One Highway; Preliminary Study on Bio-engineering Designs for Roadside Slope Protection Projects; and Off-season Practice and Applications of Vetiver Hedge Technology for Slope Protection were given respectively by 5 key speakers, including Professor LU Shengluan from Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Red Soils. These key speaks were followed by lots of comments and warm discussions

 Arranged by organizers, meeting attendants, ignoring the high temperature, visited the sites along Dongxiang-Linchuan Grade One Highway for roadside slope protection projects with vetiver grasses planted in early April 2004. Visitors were quite exciting when they saw the only 100-day old green vetiver grew very well and the vetiver hedgerows had been established. They found that the newly formed vetiver hedges began to effectively protect the roadside slopes when roads were attacked by several strong rainstorms. By contrast, they found Bahio Grasses planted just side by side with vetiver planting sites and covered by earthwork cloth (geojute?) were almost totally dead and hardly to survive during the hot Summer. Moreover, they found lots of some small gullies formed due to erosion at sites without vetiver planting. Consequently, visitors commented that “It is a really fantastic idea to plant vetiver grasses”.    

Mr. XI Fangbai, Deputy Director, the Transportation Department of Jiangxi Provincial Government and the Director, Jiangxi Provincial Highway Society, attended the two meetings. In his 2 speaks on the meetings. He pointed out that techniques for slope protection with vetiver system are quite sophiscated, low cost, easy applicable and highly effective. He asked all cities and counties to adopt, apply, and extend these techniques according to their own conditions, and try to transfer these techniques into real productive forces. Mr. YU Xuefeng, Director, Division of Science, Technology, and Education under the Transportation Department, and Mr.LU Qiaojin, Deputy Head, Jiangxi Provincial Highway Bureau, asked all organs and areas concerned should contribute jointly to the quicken promotion for vetiver techniques application so as to make these techniques useful in the Province’s construction of ecological highways. 

 Early in March 2003,Jiangxi Provincial Society issued a document titled “A Notice on the Extension and the Application of Bio-engineering Vetiver Techniques”(JHS 9-2003). The document wrote that “For rising the contribution rate of science and technology to Jiangxi Province’s economy growth, and as the first step for transferring S & T achievements into real productive forces, the Society decides to recommend and extend the bio-engineering vetiver techniques. The aim of the application of these techniques is to fix soils, stabilize slopes, save funds and protect environment in an ecological way. We should begin a wide propaganda movement so as to promote and extend the bio-engineering contour vetiver hedge techniques according local conditions.” 5 detailed guidelines were also included in the document. Besides, another document entitled “An Introduction to the Bio-engineering Vetiver Techniques” wrote by New Highway S & T Achievements Extension Station was also attached in the document above mentioned and forwarded to readers.

 At the same time, a document also entitled “A Notice on the Extension and the Application of Bio-engineering Vetiver Techniques”(JTSTE 2-2003)”issued by the Transportation Department of the Provincial Government pointed out that “ The key S & T project A Study on Highway Roadside Slope Protection with New Vetiver Hedge Techniques supported by the Transportation Department has achieved countrywide advanced results and received already a Grade 3 Award issued by China Highway Society. These results have been applied in some departments in highway sectors in our Province and have turned out fairly high economic and social efficiencies. In 2003,these results were listed in “A Collection of Excellent S & T Achievements in Transportation Industries in the Period 2000-2002”published by China Transportation Ministry and recommended to be extended. At the present time, New Highway S & T Achievements Extension Station under Jiangxi Provincial Society is extending the application of bio- engineering vetiver techniques, We hope departments concerned should strongly support this extension work if condition adequate.”

These two documents have quicken the pace of the extension of vetiver techniques in highway roadside slope protection. According to a rough statistic, so far the area of highway roadside slope protected by vetiver bioengineering techniques amounts 1.5 million m2. The task of these two meetings is to check the real results turned out by the two documents above mentioned, and to exchange experiences and practices in the past year. We believe that these two meetings will greatly promote the further extension of vetiver contour hedge techniques for highway roadside slope protection, and a new hot wave of this extension will be going on.

 

                                     (LU Shengluan, translated by XIONG Guoyan)