L.V. Du; N.H. Truc
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SANREM CRSP, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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Abstract: Over the past decade, cacao (Theobroma cacao) has been introduced to the agroforestry systems in some upland provinces of southern Vietnam to improve the income of local farmers. However termite attack on cacao seedlings is the main constraint to the development of this crop in these systems. Chemical application is the only current method available for farmers to protect their cacao crop. So far there is no study on non-chemical termite control method. An experiment on natural termite control using vetiver grass was established by the Nong Lam University (NLU) team in Nghia Trung (site 1) and Nghia Binh (site 2) communes of Bu Dang district, Binh Phuoc province to test the hypothesis that the natural oil compounds and some of its constituents in composted vetiver grass biomass can repel termites and its organic matter can enhance the growth of cacao seedlings. The initial findings suggest that vetiver grass can be used not only in its traditional role as a tool for soil erosion control, but its biomass can be used as a compost for termite control also, instead of chemicals, in cacao development in agroforestry systems.
Also available as a SANREM CSRP research report, and as a poster presentation presented at the 2005 SANREM CSRP annual meeting, Los Banos, Philippines. May 26-28, 2008.
Also available in Vietnamese in the Journal of Science and Technology in Agriculture and Forestry (in press).