Visit the TVNI Website

Top rated

save or share this address Bookmark and Share


translate this page

International Vetiver Grass Tracking (IVGT) internet platforms now operational --- New Vetiver Network Forum established --- Vetiver grass potential for rice stem borer control

Vetiver handicraft opportunities

Vetiver handicraft opportunities
Vetiver handicrafts around the world

Vetiver for Land Restoration

Vetiver for Land Restoration
An Ecuador experience

Vietnam Vetiver Network -- Vetiver System Foundation -- Activities -- September 2015 to August 2018

Vietnam Vetiver Network -- Vetiver System Foundation -- Activities -- September 2015 to August 2018
Vetiver protected fish ponds

Vetiver System in Senegal. Issues and problems

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Here is an important note from Tony Cisse in Senegal.  He has some important insights to development and the introduction of new technologies

My vision for Senegal is the day when someone visiting a farm without vetiver will show surprise and question the farmer why he isn't using it just as everyone else. 

The profile of the vetiver system fits so well into the climate change adaptation agenda. The issues facing the ordinary farmers; soil erosion, decreasing soil fertility, flooding, ravines and lack of animal fodder during the dry season are all challenges that we know vetiver can rise to. Even with the increasingly erratic weather patterns characterised by very heavy and damaging flash floods followed by 9 months of now rainfall and temperatures in the 40s, vetiver plants have shown they can survive the harshness of drought, appearing dry and dead only to flourish with the first rain.

The problem in adoption is as ever less to do with the plant itself and more associated with the politics of 'development'. For those  in decision making positions whose primary interest in and initiative is extracting their 10% commission have little interest in effective sustainable solutions. Much better to find capital intensive 'solutions' with their associated kickbacks, whose failure generate further opportunities for new 'solutions' than something whose technology is instantly more understandable to ordinary farmers, and easily controlled by them, and is more effective as time goes on. A properly planted and maintained vetiver system is in place for life, never needing new contracts and investments.

What is very encouraging is that the vetiver system is not new in Senegal. If you talk to the old people they still have memories of its use during their childhood, mainly as a means of delineating fields. The fact that there are names for the plant in all the national languages, some even differentiating between the plant and the leaves (Serreer Saafen call the plant 'ton' but the leaves 'lat') show a traditional knowledge that can be built on. This is important as it is not seen, by those who have this 'memory' as some newfangled introduction of some else's (invariably a foreign expert) of which they have seen many come and go.  The reasons for its disappearance are not clear. My theory is that the variety that was used was vetiver nigritinia, and that probably this was less resilient to drought than the zinzanoides variety we use. In Mali people tell me that nigritinia is still very present (but increasingly harvested wild to provide roots for drinking water - all the roots for sale in Senegal are imported from Mali), but is found in wetland areas. The other theory is that in the Cap Vert area the introduction of mechanised means of farming with ploughs and tractors may well have destroyed remaining hedges....

Tony Cisse's blog is at:


Post a Comment

Blog images

Useful gallery of all blog images (with captions) posted on Picassa


blog archive

TVNI Recommended Blogs

vetiver latina

vetiver systems hawaii

john greenfield's world

vetiver brazil

sistema vetiver (brazil)

the vetiver solutions blog

journal on the land - italy

vetiver senegal

vetiver puerto rico

diario della coltivazione

our latest blog posts


slope stabilization

disaster mitigation



the vetiver plant


© 2010 The Vetiver Network International Blog | Design by

google analytics