Vetiver Network International Forum

This forum is for public viewing but registered users only to discuss and exchange information relating to Vetiver Grass and the Vetiver System.

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Welcome to the new (November 2018) Vetiver Network International Forum. Share your views and ideas, and help grow the Vetiver System in both size and quality to the benefit of its users and the Planet at large

#1 2020-01-24 19:29:01

dgrimshaw
Moderator

Barriers to the use of Vetiiver Grass Technology (VGT)

I have been working with vetiver since 1985, 35 years later VGT is quite a well know practice, but still many potential users know nothing about it. I would like to start a discussion on how we might rectify this and accelerate VGT promotion. Here are a few of my observations that might start the conversation:

Barriers deterring the use of Vetiver Grass. (1) Some research shows that farmers need to be financially supported to undertake soil conservation works. - seems to work in the US in various forms but not in poor countries. Poor country conservation has generally come through World Food Program “food for work” programs and bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, or heavily subsidized  programs where there is no incentive for farmers to maintain their works and where there are huge opportunities for corruption by officials at all levels (2) engineered design based systems are generally preferred by “officials” - a bigger  budget line -  more room for corrupt practices and more control by involved officials. (3) biological systems are generally not preferred by engineers as most have not been trained in such aspects. They are also much lower costs and less opportunity for corrupt practices. (4) In most developing countries soil conservation is the responsibility of a “Soil Conservation Department” most of these are focused entirely on soil conservation and rarely consider the wider and secondary aspects that are derived from the primary work. Thus when introducing (perhaps reluctantly) a technology like Vetiver Grass the conservation agents  are either generally unaware of the many secondary benefits or do not tell the end user what those benefits may be. This all adds up to low adoption rates (5) In this age of "global environmental threat" primary and secondary schools should have a curricula that includes a compulsory class on basic environmental principles. — in other words some serious thought needs to be given to environmental education.

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#2 2020-01-29 19:32:03

dgrimshaw
Moderator

Re: Barriers to the use of Vetiiver Grass Technology (VGT)

It is of note that recently the US Congress passed a Bill to support farmers to plant Prairie Grass strips across their cropped lands based on the following findings: 

Prairie Strips Now Eligible for Federal Conservation Program from NO Till Farmer "ISU scientists began conducting research on prairie strips more than 10 years ago. Since then, they’ve documented a range of environmental benefits associated with the practice. Prairie strips reduce soil and nutrient loss from steep ground, provide habitat for wildlife and improve water infiltration. According to an ISU study from 2017, converting as little as 10% of the cropped area to prairie conservation strips reduced soil loss by 95%, phosphorus losses in surface runoff by 77%, nitrate concentrations in groundwater by 72% and total nitrogen losses in surface runoff by 70%, compared with all-crop watersheds. Pollinator and bird abundance more than doubled.” Vetiver has been proven to do the same. Vegetative barriers using proven plants with the right characteristics provide long term solutions at minimal cost. Vetiver grass barriers use as little as 5% of the cropped area and for tropical and semi-tropical areas provide the quickest and least cost protection.

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