John Greenfield has asked us to share his note “Poverty Alleviation Using the Vetiver System in Tropical Developing Countries“.  John has years of experience in development agriculture in the tropics and semi tropics, and has strong views on why soil conservation has failed in the past; on the continued and exhausting measurement of soil loss; on the failure of development agencies and countries to mitigate the problem; and on the over complication of finding and implementing solutions.  He has also a very clear message that however good a modern crop improvement technology might be, without adequate water the plant will NOT grow or reach its productive potential.  His solution is the application of the Vetiver System for on farm soil and water conservation.

More recent posts on this blog and on the TVNI website provide data that support his views, they also identify and provide background to some of the problems that are faced in introducing the technology to poor and often illiterate farmers who in many cases may have rather different priorities, but who mostly are happy to apply the technology when properly understood.
Dick Grimshaw