Fighting Climate Change in Africa

It is a real pleasure to see the progress being made in Ethiopia with the continued expansion of the Vetiver System for soil and water conservation. There is a lot written and talked about relating to combatting climate change in Africa and improving agricultural production. The possibilities of irrigation are very limited as compared to south and east Asia. Africa has to optimize her rainfed agriculture – a primary concern must be erosion control, soil nutrient retention, and insitu soil water conservation. The Vetiver System is proving to be the least costly and most effective method of achieving these objectives. If widely applied it might indeed prove to be a precursor to a new “Green Revolution” for tropical agriculture.

Today Belayneh Adugna, the Up-Scaling Component Coordinator and Soil and water conservation Specialist ofGTZ-Amhara Sustainable Land Management(SLM) Program in Ethiopia wrote the following to me”

“The books which you sent to me today will be important for us (practitioners in Vetiver System) to know more about the plant and for our future awareness creation campaigns. The progress made so far to scale-up the Vetiver System in Amhara region is promising. Many government and non government organizations who are working in the area of soil and water conservation are giving due attention to promote vetiver as the best solution for agricultural development and natural resources conservation. Vetiver nurseries are established in each corner of the region. Even private farmers are producing vetiver planting materials and generating income by selling vetiver seedlings. Moreover, the Vetiver System is the top in the agenda of options for sustainable land management and included in the governments extention technologies pakage. So, I am sure we can make a difference in this country through the application of the Vetiver System. Actually we need to do a lot of capacity building works at all levels.”

As many of you know TVNI helped sponsor a major Vetiver System workshop in Ethiopia this last March. This new sense of accelerating the expansion of VS in Ethiopia is partially due to that workshop (see: and

Dick Grimshaw