Colombia and Haiti Slope Stabilization, Erosion Control, Vetiver Oil, and Briquetting

Colombia is renowned for its high quality arabica coffee.  Vetiver, we all hope, will be another plant that the Colombian’s will one day be proud of.  The image is of a vetiver plant from the nursery of Uriel Salazar Gomez, Soil Bioengineering, Medellin, Colombia. This plant is massive – over 2.5 m of leaf and stem, undoubtedly supported by a major root system.  It is little wonder that when planted correctly on properly designed projects that vetiver will do such a great job in slope stabilization and erosion control

Some news from Haiti.  One of the three largest vetiver oil producers in the world – located in Haiti – Unikode S.A. is supplied by 6000 small growers in the Les Cayes area of Haiti is changing its agronomic management requirements of its growers to incorporate the Vetiver System for erosion control on its smallholders farms:

“Permanent Bands of contour planted Vetiver will be planted & maintained across all Vetiver fields. The bands will be placed at 2 to 5 meter intervals depending on the slope. Forty five degree slopes or greater will be contoured at 2 meter intervals. Fifteen degree slopes will be contoured at 5 meter intervals. Depending on specific conditions the erosion control banding will be increased as needed in the confluences of hillsides. …….. The non harvested Vetiver bands could be interplanted with leucena, leucophelia or other woodies. The bands will also be interplanted with Rosemary and Thyme selected for essential oil quality and yield. Areas where soil conditions permit will be planted in Ylang Ylang and Key Lime (Caribbean Lime) trees as part of the permaculture, intercropping and rotation plan.

The bands of Vetiver will be alternately harvested. The Vetiver grass will be laid back on the newly replanted soil as mulch to cover and the replanted clumps. The grass leaves will not be burned. Vetiver will be harvested at twelve months or more after the re-planting date. Harvesting will not be done in the rainy season.

In addition Unikode will convert 10 ton a day root waste into charcoal briquettes.”

This is really excellent news, and the principles involved could easily be repeated in other vetiver oil producing countries such as Indonesia and India.  Hopefully these practices can be applied to most of Haiti’s vetiver oil producing areas.

The complete Unikode S.A announcement can be read at:    email:[email protected]