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Vetiver powers agriculture

Water Pollution

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New York Times article of February 9 2010 "China Report Shows More Pollution in Waterways" The Chinese have carried out a detailed survey of pollution problems relating to water. Not unexpected water is being badly polluted by industrial and urban waste and agricultural chemicals.  These results are just as applicable to the Indian subcontinent, and to any other country in the tropics. Part of the solution could be in the use of vetiver grass.
Vetiver grass hedgerows act as a live filter barrier that inexpensively and effectively prevent soil particles (sediment from leaving agricultural land). Surplus nitrates (N) and phosphates (P) from chemical fertilizers and surplus pesticides normally find their way into the streams, rivers, ponds and lakes, through attachment to soil particles. Vetiver hedgerows block this downslope movement and allowing crops and vetiver itself to use and process the N & P. In the process the hedgerows slow down rainfall runoff velocity, reduce erosion to near negligible levels, recharges groundwater, increases crop yields. Altogether a WIN WIN solution.

This grass has also the ability to deal with heavy metals from urban landfills, mine tailings and industrial waste heaps. Not only do vetiver hedgerows prevent sediment flows that contain the metals, but also the plant will take up these substances and store most of them in its roots. Few plants can do this so well over such a wide range.

The Vetiver System is the cheapest, simplest, and the quickest way to deal with these problems and agencies and potential users should be encouraged to promote its use.

'When someone shares something of value with you, and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others!"


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