Gilbert Agriculture Rural Development Centre  Vertiver Grass Workshops

 Having a Vertiver Grass nursery practically next door at Mercer’s Creek made it very convenient for the Gilbert Agricultural Rural Development Centre (GARDC).  The second phase of the GARDC/Eco-system Based Adaptation (EBA) Project was training workshops and having easy access to the main commodity was very helpful. According to June Jackson (Executive Director of GARDC), These workshops were one on soap making while the other was a handicraft training on making  jewelry, coasters, baskets and mats making.  The participants were entrepreneurs and other interested persons who could use the grass to create a livelihood for themselves. “We want to extend our gratitude to our donors, who we would have received grant funding from through IICA Antigua office under the CBF-EBA project. We are quite pleased that we could have partnered with them (IICA) to develop a nursery”, Jackson said.

Documented evidence has shown numerous benefits and uses of this plant, and through these sessions some of these were recently locally proven. Interestingly, there are uses for the entire plant, from the foliage to the roots of this plant contains many good properties conducive for agricultural, decorative and medicinal purposes.  One of the ingredients in the soap making process was the roots and its leaf which can also be used for exfoliation. Some soaps were made and packaged nicely into gift packages for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and for other special occasions.

Ms. Jackson further indicated at GARDC there will be more happening in the near future pertaining to the Vertiver Grass and this project.  Additionally, she encourages the general public to visit GARDC website for more information on other related activities.