Vetiver System Stabilizes Railway Embankment in China – Feedback

With great effort, the Xinchang Railway Company located in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, became the first railway to form a Vetiver company. It was launched in 2001 and at that time began to use VS. On 20 April 2001, about 120,000 tillers of Vetiver planting material were transported from a village in the Dabie Mountains where farmers had been producing planting materials for contracted Vetiver projects since 1998 as part of a poverty alleviation program and an environmental protection scheme.

Later, The First Railway Vetiver Technology Identification and Evaluation Conference of China was held in Nanjing from 18-20 October 2001. Around 40 participants attended the conference, including experts from the Engineering Design and Identification Center of the National Railway Ministry, the First Survey and Design Academy of the Railway Ministry, the Second Survey and Design Academy of the Railway Ministry, the Fourth Survey and Design Academy of the Railway Ministry, the Shanghai Railway Bureau, the Railway Office of Jiangsu Province, the Director of the headquarters of the Xinchang Railway, Managers of the Xinchang Railway Co. Ltd., and the Directors of the Xinchang Vetiver Slope Stabilization Co. Ltd. The participants listened to the report of the project and visited the railway protection site and fully recognized the success.

Later in January 2002, VS was officially included in the National Railway Embankment Protection Regulations.

Now, over 6 years past since vetiver planting on the railway embankment, what happened? From the pictures taken on 13 June 2007 we can see that the planting remains well established. There were no management practices applied after planting, except that a farmer cuts the grass every July and dries the leaves as a mattress filler. The latter are sold in winter for people to keep bed warm.

Occasionally in some places vetiver looks dead because it was effected when farmers used herbicide. In some place there are weeds, but general the weeds can not “overcome” vetiver.

Liyu Xu – China Vetiver network Coordinator