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One of it's components is to investigate ways to use vetiver in gardens in the Province.After a review of the literature, observation of the plots already established, and discussions with officers of the DAL and village farmers, a vetiver grass extension program was commenced.
There was little information available on the culture of vetiver grass to the DAL Extension Officers who made the first on-farm plantings of vetiver grass n Simbu in l993/94.
The slips were planted at 30 to 50 cm centers in straight lines across the gardens, most of which have slopes over 40% The lines were not planted on the contour. Few of the clumps of grass in these plantings have formed complete hedges and many gaps still remain.
Their effectiveness in preventing soil loss has been minimal.
The growth rate of the grass was satisfactory on fertile soils, but slow on shallow soils.
Little follow up extension was given to farmers to encourage them to persist with the grass or manage it in any way as DAL Extension Officers were provided with few resources for this purpose.
CARE Australia's program with vetiver grass extension since June 1994.The Simbu Agroforestry and Land Use Project, is managed by CARE Australia on behalf of the Australian Government Aid Agency, Aus Aid. Nursery blocks were established on Government Stations in a number of rural areas of Simbu Province by Extension Officers of the Provincial Department of Primary Industries (DPI). All the planting material used in the PNG Highlands originated from this plot. CARE, Australia, Simbu Agroforestry and land Use Project, PNG Vetiver grass was introduced to PNG in the late 1980's and established on a Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) Research Station in the coastal lowlands.To date, the only on-farm plantings of vetiver grass in the highlands have been in about 40 gardens in Simbu Province.