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Vetiver handicraft opportunities

Vetiver handicraft opportunities
Vetiver handicrafts around the world

Vetiver for Land Restoration

Vetiver for Land Restoration
An Ecuador experince

Vetiver powers agriculture

VETIVER FOR STEM BORER CONTROL OF RICE

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Twenty counties in China's Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces are planting vetiver as an ecological engineering method (trap crop) for the control of two stem borer species - Chilo suppressalis (striped stem borer) and Sesamia inferens (pink stem borer). The results are very encouraging and it appears that rice farmers are excited with the significant increase in protection (70%) against stem borer damage and as a result a reduction in pesticide use and cost. Stem borer populations on rice decreased by up to 84% when vetiver rows were planted 50 meters apart and 3-5 meter apart in the row (in most cases hedgerows on the paddy field boundaries). A number of research papers have been published in China that describe why vetiver is such an effective trap crop. First, there are indications that some of the unique oils in vetiver when acting together act as a pheromone - volatiles - that attract the stem borer moths. Secondly vetiver contains toxic substances, which have lethal effect on the larvae that inhibit the esterase and cytochrome P450 enzyme activities, leading to the function loss of larvae in detoxification and metabolism. Additionally, compared to rice, reduced nutrients in vetiver cannot meet the demand of the larvae, and led to digestive function and physiological activity disorder and ultimately death. For newcomers to this topic you should be aware that the maize stem borer moth also is attracted by vetiver where it lays its eggs, thus reducing damage to the adjacent maize crop. Copies of the Chinese research papers relating to this topic (all with English abstracts) are:

Rice Pest Management by Ecological Engineering: A Pioneering Attempt in China
Optimal planting pattern of trap plant vetiver grass, Vetiveria zizanioides, for controlling rice striped stem borer, Chilo suppressalis
Effects of Vetiver Grass, Vetiveria zizanioides, on the Activities of detoxification of enzymes and acetylcholinesterase in the pink stem borer Sesamia inferens larvae
The Lethal Mechanism of Trap Plant, Vetiveria zizianioides, Against the Larvae of Chilo suppressalis (Striped Rice Stem Borer)
The effects of spraying on host plants on the oviposition preference of Asia Pink stem borer Sesamia inferens
Effects of Trap Plant, Vetiver Grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) on Nutritional and Digestive Enzyme Activities of Pink Stem Borer (Sesamia inferens) Larvae

Electrophysiological responses of the rice striped stem borer Chilo suppressalis to volatiles of the trap plant vetiver grass (Vetiveria
zizanioides L.)

Vetiver System for Land Restoration

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If you are interested in land restoration, this video from Ecuador, by a man who knows what he is talking about, is highly recommended


Vetiver System - Vetiver Grass Technology Applications

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Vetiver Grass is an absolute unique plant for many reasons, but its most impressive characteristics are that it can be grown successfully in virtually every country with a warm to hot climate, and for a large range of different applications covering a number of critical sectors relating to the environment.  Here is a list of these applications with links to some short photo presentations which helps put this plant into perspective.  Note "high resolution images are also available - click on button near bottom of table.

THE VETIVER_ SYSTEM -- OVERVIEW
VETIVER_ SYSTEM AND CLIMATE CHANGE

ABOUT VETIVER - THE PLANTPROPAGATION
& PLANTING
AGRICULTURAL
USES
FORAGE AND BIOMASS
ON FARM SOIL & WATER CONSERVATIONLANDSCAPING
LAND
REHABILITATION
MINE
REHABILITATION
MINE REHABILITATION
LARGE SCALE APPLICATIONS
COASTLINE
STABILIZATION
BRIDGE
PROTECTION
HIGHWAY
STABILIZATION
PUBLIC UTILITY STABILIZATIONSTEEP SLOPE
STABILIZATION
RURAL ROAD
STABILIZATION

RAILROAD
STABILIZATION
UPLAND FLOOD CONTROLLOWLAND DIKES & LEVEE
STABILIZATION
RIVER BANK STABILIZATIONDAM STABILIZATION
LANDFILL
TREATMENT
EFFLUENT
DISPOSAL
HANDICRAFTS OTHER USES
HIGH RESOLUTION FILES OF ABOVE APPLICATIONS
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TVNI POLICY STATEMENT ON VETIVER VARIETIES AND USE

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TVNI is aware that a number of varieties of vetiver grass are being used for various purposes of land management and conservation, and at times this may cause confusion and in some instances concern as to what variety falls legitimately under TVNI's "Vetiver System". Here follows TVNI's current policy:

"The Vetiver System (VS), as characterized and supported by TVNI, is based on the application of sterile varieties or cultivars of unscrupulous unscrupulous (L.) RobertyAll other Chrysopogon species (syn. Vetiveria) that are fertile may be used for similar applications to those covered by VS, but cannot be guaranteed to be effective or meet the technical specifications attainable with the known, tested, proven, and sterile C. zizanioides

Fertile vetiver grass varieties may be utilized just as any other useful, native plant might be for soil and water conservation and land management; however, TVNI does not specifically promote their use, and it actively discourages the sales and export of viable seed or plant material of fertile vetiver to countries and regions where such plants are not native and thus may pose a risk of being invasive."

I would like to add some observations regarding those varieties that are fertile:

Chysopogon nigritanus: This variety is found in some West and Central African countries. Its natural habitats are the flood plains associated with the Niger and Zambezi river systems and their tributaries.  Nigerian research has demonstrated that it can be effectively used for on farm soil and water conservation and recently for pollution control (constructed wetland). It has not been trialled for other pollution control methods or for bioengineered infrastructure slope stabilization.  Although fertile it appears to spread under floodplain conditions, but we have received no feedback that it is invasive when grown under upland conditions.  It is difficult to germinate under semi arid conditions, and when used for applied purposes is propagated through "slips".  In Senegal C.nigritanus was found to be inferior to C.zizanioides

Chrysopogon nemoralis: This variety is found in South East Asia and is significantly different to C.zizanioides.  It has shorter roots and is a less robust plant.  It is invasive and we do not recommend its use for any purpose.  C.nemoralis has been substituted for C.zizanioides by unscrupulous vendors.  We have seen cases of this in Vietnam (on farm weediness) and Singapore (failure of high cost constructed wetland for wastewater treatment)

Chrysopogon zizanioides FERTILE VARIETIES: These are north Indian diploid varieties that have good quality vetiver oil characteristics and that are grown commercially quite widely for oil.  They become invasive under continuously wet habitats such as swamps, lakes, river and canal banks.  Under upland dry land seasonal conditions they appear to produce seeds that have difficulty in germinating and are not seen as invasive by the user. Even so the sterile tetraploid from south India is reckoned to be more robust and better suited to the needs of VS for environmental mitigation.  Below is a quote from Dr. Umesh Lavania, a leading vetiver breeder in India

"Enhanced bio-efficiency of vetiver tetraploids.  Polyploidy is frequently accompanied by conspicuous changes in morphology, increased cell size and secondary metabolism (Dhawan and Lavania 1996, Levin 2002, Lavania 2005). Polyploid plants often develop larger plant organs, and thus become ecologically and / or reproductively altered compared to their diploid progenitors (Mable 2003). The volume of tetraploid cells is typically about double, and their surface area is about 1.5 times that of their diploid counterparts. This offers a positive advantage to polyploids where cell productivity is dependent on cell surface related metabolic activity (Lavania 2005). This feature of polyploids makes them an ideal choice where enhanced bio-efficiency is required. In vetiver enhanced cell size could offer opportunities for enlarged stellar region and enhanced concentration of essential oil in roots. Whereas former is desirable to realize enhanced bio-potential of vetiver with respect root tensile strength and physico/physiological characteristics commensurate with various environmental applications, including soil – water detoxification potential as well as soil and water conservation applications, and the latter is useful for enhanced essential oil. Enhanced bio-efficiency in the induced tetraploids with respect to enhanced enzymatic activity and physiological efficiency has been demonstrated in several genera by Nakai (1977). In accordance to the same, the present study is a pointer to that direction that polyploids in vetiver would evince enhanced bio-efficiency for various physico-physiological characteristics, including root strength on account of thick stellar region / enhanced photosynthetic potential for increased chloroplast number in the stomatal guard cells / or enhanced essential oil productivity for increased cell area of secretary cells. " Full paper at: http://www.vetiver.org/ICV4pdfs/EB02.pdf

Finally TVNI would like to report that Dr. Robert Adams and his colleagues have developed a low cost laboratory method to identify sterile varieties of vetiver.  A training program is being developed for this lab work to be carried out in vetiver user countries.  More will be reported on this as it proceeds. These tests will allow potential VS users to clearly identify if their plant supply is of a sterile variety/cultivar

Restoring Our Watershed

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Restoring Our Watershed is an organization in Costa Rica that is working with Communities to restore the degraded land and groundwater in northwest Costa Rica.  The heart and soul of its strategy is empowering families to control erosion and capture more rainwater, most frequently using vetiver grass technology (VGT).

"Restoring Our Watershed is creating a positive model for watershed management to ensure that future generations will have access to plentiful water, both in the Nandamojo basin and throughout Guanacaste.

Why? Water scarcity threatens communities in northwestern Costa Rica, and the process of assigning blame is tearing many apart. Major industries, including tourism and agriculture, have been pitted against residents of small towns whose wells are going dry. In most cases, the proposed solutions to this crisis focus solely on infrastructure improvements (new wells) or limiting the amount of water industries can withdraw.

Climate change has taken its toll on Guanacaste, which has suffered both a long-term drying trend and shorter, intense periods of drought. Projections for the future cast a grim outlook for the province – less rainfall and an increasing frequency of droughts.

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