What is the Vetiver System?

The Vetiver System

Vetiver is a tall, sterile grass that is native to India. It can grow up to 5 feet tall and its root structure can grow over 20 feet in depth. The impressive root structure allows vetiver to hold soil in place on all types of topography – from plains to mountains. The Vetiver System is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way of preventing soil erosion and promoting soil conservation. Soil erosion is a form of soil degradation which ultimately decreases crop yields. When vetiver is planted in a row between crops, these plants form a barrier to slow runoff. This system, named the Vetiver System reduces soil erosion and increases the nutrients in the soil around the crops. While alternative living-plant barriers exist, the extraordinary root system of vetiver makes it highly efficient competition. Not only is it the best-known plant for soil erosion prevention, it has been advocated by the World Bank as a soil erosion technique since the 1990s.

Why Choose the Vetiver System?

Using only vetiver, the Vetiver System is one of the most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solutions to fighting soil erosion. There is no maintenance required and the installation is incredibly easy. Once you have purchased the vetiver and cleared a row in preparation for planting, all you have to do is place each plant along the row, approximately one foot apart. Continue to water your vetiver regularly the first 3 months and you will soon have a full-grown hedge of vetiver, effectively reducing soil erosion with no work necessary for you to do.

Vetiver Solutions works to convert vetiver into a renewable cash crop.

Additional Uses and Benefits

Vetiver is highly resistant to pests, diseases, and fire. It is a pest repellent for certain species of ants. Additionally, once you have purchased your initial vetiver plants, these can be propagated, or replanted at a 15:1 ratio every six months. That means that after your initial purchase, you will never have to buy vetiver again. With a purchase of merely 10 plants, you can have 150 plants in as little as six months. Vetiver can be simultaneously used as a cash crop to maximize yields. Multi-functional use of the plant allows for crafting opportunities such woven hats and handbags. Vetiver Solutions is working to convert the shoots into a yarn that can be spun and sold locally.

Where Can Vetiver Grow?

Vetiver is currently found most frequently in Southeast Asia and Haiti. In Haiti it is often used as a cash crop for the essential oils found in the roots. While vetiver is not found in great quantities in Central- or South America, it has the potential to easily grow in these climates. Additionally, vetiver is found in many Sub-Sahara African countries, however the use of the Vetiver System in these areas is not widely adopted. Vetiver is incredibly drought- and flood-resistant, allowing it to survive through monsoons, hurricanes, and droughts.
Vetiver Roots

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