Sustainable Agriculture Through Gene Conservation, Seed Banks & Food Security
Santal Valley is a partner in gene conservation with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and Southern Cross University. We are guardians of all chemotypes of sandalwood oil in Vanuatu and host 44 ramits grafting on root stock. In line with our commitment to eco-conscious approaches, we also invest in preserving endangered native species such as:
- the Nikapu tree that is no longer found elsewhere on the island.
- the traditional laplap leaf used for wrapping food is fast disappearing due to blight; we are rebuild stocks in a controlled, protected environment.
Santal Valley holds an original public-private partnership with the Vanuatu Government on kava seedlings distribution, and has distributed 20,000+ stock to date. We have seed collection programs and support redistribution of seed based on demand, and as part of post-disaster recovery economies. Our seed banks are a key part of the value chains in both sandalwood and kava industries, ensuring a steady hold within these growing industries.
Through our agro-forestry approach, Santal Valley aligns to the Vanuatu Government’s productive sector policies to integrate food security and soil health into commercial planting. We sustain a food bowl system, and integrate this into our planting strategies. For example, we adopt a peanut – kava – cabbage crop sequence to nurture optimal soil health.
January 20, 2022