FARMERS' PERCEPTION AND PRACTICES IN VETIVER GRASS CULTIVATION (VETIVERIA ZIZANIOIDES NASH) FOR SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION IN MAE RIM DISTRICT, CHIANG MAI PROVINCEGraduate School Chiang Mai University Thailand, Faculty of Agriculture: Extension Department
Author Mr. Suchart Montrekusol M.S. Agriculture (Agricultural Extension)
Examining Committee Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pongsak Angkasith Chairman
Asst. Prof. Dr. Avorn Opatpatanakit Member
Lecturer Rampaipan Apichatpongchai Member
Assoc. Prof. Dusit Manajuti Member
The objectives of this research were to study the knowledge and understanding of farmers regarding soil and water conservation , farmers' perception and practices in vetiver grass cultivation for soil and water conservation, and to investigate the problems and recommendations expressed by farmers.
Studied populations were 72 cultivated vetiver grass farmers in Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai Province who had been trained how to use vetiver grass for soil and water conservation. Data was collected through interview then was analysed by Statistical Package for the Social Science ( SPSS ). Statistical techniques used were percentage, frequency, arithmetic means and Standard Deviation. It was found that most farmers were male whose average age and education were 45 years and grade 4, respectively. Their average farm size and annual income were 7 rais and 42,145 baht per year.
Most farmers applied integrated farming system. It was also found that 87 and 88 percent of farmers accessed agricultural information through neighbor and television, respectively while they received information on using vetiver grass for soil and water conservation from governmental extension worker.
Farmers' knowledge and understanding on soil conservation and soil fertility were good. Their perception and understanding on soil and water conservation by vetiver grass were also at a good level. The reason of planting vetiver grass was that it is good to prevent soil erosion and increase soil fertility for year-rounded cultivation.
The problems found were an inappropiate time of receiving vetiver seedling, insufficient knowledge on vetiver grass plantation, insufficient labour and equipment, and insufficient knowledge on other utilization of vetiver grass.
This research suggested that related government agency should transfer more knowledge and articles on vetiver production and processing. Extension workers should visit farmers more often to participate in solving problem. Furthermore, farmers should be promoted to apply integrated farming system by using vetiver grass for soil and water conservation.