The Vetiver Network ---What is the Vetiver Network


The Vetiver Network promotes and recycles to farmers, NGOs, government agencies, consultants, researchers and contractors, information about the use of vetiver grass contour hedges for soil and moisture conservation, for embankment stabilization, waste land rehabilitation, and natural resources related pollution mitigation. It now has participants in over 100 tropical and semi-tropical countries.

The Vetiver Network was started in 1989 as a means to link actual and potential vetiver grass users in a formal network for the exchange of information about vetiver, for the dissemination of techniques, and for providing information about research. The first formal newsletter #3 was distributed in March 1990, #16 was distributed in December 1996. There are now nearly 4,000 participants who receive the newsletter directly -- there are many thousands who receive it or parts of it from third parties.

The network provides all published material free of charge, this includes the newsletter, the books The Hedge Against Erosion (200,000 copies published) and the Thin Green Line (40,000 copies published), and any other written material pertinent to the technology. The network publishes a participant list, sells transparencies of vetiver technology, and provides copies of videos. Any new participant automatically gets back copies of all the newsletters and the two books referenced above.

The newsletter is the key to the network. It focuses entirely on one topic only - vetiver grass and how to use it. It reports on facts, it provides practical and do-able advice on the vetiver technology, it feeds back to the reader anything that is printable, and acknowledges all contributions. In 1992 it awarded prizes totaling $10,000 for practical and useful research information about the technology. In 1993 it awarded $30,000, including a $10,000 contribution from His Majesty the King of Thailand, for research results, photographs, videos and farmer information. These awards have provided an excellent incentive for feedback from users and researchers, and assures a flow of new ideas and applications of the vetiver technology to users. This award program has been again set for $50,000 to be awarded in late 1998.

The newsletter focuses entirely on facts and information that is sufficiently useful to the reader to enable the latter to test out suggestions without having to refer to other papers or journals. Users often write in and say "we read, we did, and it works".

The network has supported NGOs and other groups in holding workshops, and has provided seed money to establish small demonstrations and for the collection of planting material. The network is particularly anxious to work with farmers, engineers, and environmentalists; and to that end the network is very responsive to users requests for information. The network holds no copy writes nor patents. We want all information to be freely available, free to copy, and free to translate (and amend if necessary). Contributors to the network understand this too.

The Network will provide small grants to organizations interested in developing vetiver programs. It is also providing grants to establish national and regional networks. A regional network has been established for Latin America, and national networks have just been established in China and the Philippines.

In October 1996 The Vetiver Network was awarded the $100,000 "John Franz Sustainability Award" by the Monsanto Corporation, as the best judged environmental technology.

The Vetiver Network is a non profit organization. Any one interested in receiving further information or wishing to make a donation to help this Network operate, please contact the Network Coordinator - Dale Rachmeler at:

E-Mail: [email protected]
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