Although there are many other applications, Vetiver's most important use is for soil and water conservation, and the need to use Vetiver for this purpose is growing every day as the negative impacts of climate change accelerate. This is especially the case in the poorer areas of the tropics and semitropics, including semi arid areas. Sadly the technology is not being used as much as it should for this purpose.
India is one such example - as the center of origin of Vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides) and with a traditional on farm use going back hundreds of years, it still is relatively unknown.
We would urge individuals, communities, and other development agencies to use vetiver hedges for soil and moisture conservation in their programs. We are familiar with the “microwatershed development” approaches being utilized in India and other countries that have (in our opinion) a number of problems that detract from long term success … problems that vetiver hedges are very well-suited to help resolve.
Briefly, microcatchment approaches (that exclude vetiver) being used:
Vetiver Grass and its system for community development in Ethiopia
Green Structure for Soil and Water Conservation on Cultivated Steep Land
Listen to Caleb Omolo who farms 5 acres in Kenya. He has got it right!!