Borassus Project Allotment Project 2012

Banana Leaves Agricultural Project

The BORASSUS Project has been instrumental in the development of the Agricultural Sub-Committee and helping the evaluation of techniques to grow agricultural produce and simultaneously conserve soil and water.

Banana Leaves

Within the concept and template of the BORASSUS Project, a M.Sc. student has researched the utilization of banana leaves as an alternative to palm leaves.

Research undertaken to date has shown that there are more nutrients within the banana leaf than palm leaves or jute. Thus, on decomposition of geotextiles, they will input plant nutrients into the soil. Further research is comparing the plant nutrient status of banana leaves from Nigeria and Brazil with leaves from the Parish of Hanover, Jamaica. Initial results suggest a particularly high nutrient content in the Jamaican leaves, probably due to the influence of local limestone.

Our aim to introduce banana leaf geotextiles to the small-holdings farmers in Hanover Parish (north-west Jamaica) with a view to conserving soil and water resources.

Many agricultural areas are steep, leading to rill and gully erosion. The mats will help prevent soil erosion, especially through the rainy seasons, when torrential rain washes away much topsoil.

We will also be using the same principles in our urban agricultural project at our established small-holding in Wolverhampton.

From an economic perspective, we hope that as our project develops communities within Hanover will start constructing banana leaf geotextiles as a cottage industry, both for domestic use and international export.

Summary of Report PDF: An Agro-Environmental Investigation

By Alistair Shepherd (2012)

University of Wolverhampton