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Vetiver System for land rehabilitation

Monday, November 21, 2011

Two interesting presentations from ICV5 demonstrated the important ability of vetiver for the rehabilitation of badly degraded land in India. One on salinity and sodic soils showed how well vetiver would grow on such soils as compared to native plants.  Clearly vetiver could be used as a pioneer plant on many of those no longer productive agricultural lands - unproductive due often to past mismanaged irrigation programs.  Back in the 1950s some quite large areas of new forest was regenerated on Uttar Pradesh's famous "usar" sodic lands - this experience is now forgotten.  North India in particular could well use this technology for rehab.

VS treatment at the Khalsa Heritage Memorial
Another interesting case is in one in the Punjab where vetiver has been used to stabilize and rehabilitate steep and fragile slopes associated with the Khalsa Heritage Memorial.  In this instance the designers were not too happy about using vetiver (exotic to the area), but there was no other effective and comparable technology.  Vetiver was therefore applied and what is happening (as expected) is that vetiver has done its job.  Stabilized the slopes, stopped erosion, and filtered out sediment to the ornamental ponds.  In addition, as expected, native plants have naturally established, and in a few years time we can expect the vetiver  to "retire" in favor of the natives.  Nice job by Dr. M.P Singh of Earthizenz at Chandigarh.


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