The International Conference on Vetiver: From first to six and beyond

Date Posted: 15/04/2013 - 02:39:29


Narong Chomchalow*, Ha Cong Loc**
*Chairman, Continuing Committee, International Conference on Vetiver
and Coordinator, Pacific Rim Vetiver Network
**Vice Director-SBTV Construciton and Advanced Technology

1.  Introduction

Few plants have received so many commendable names in their honor. Vetiver has been given such names as: „a miracle grass‟, „a wonder grass‟, „a magic grass‟, „a unique plant‟, „a multi-purpose grass‟, „an essential  grass‟, „an amazing plant‟, „an amazing grass‟, „a versatile plant‟, „a miracle herb‟, „a living
barrier‟, „a living dam‟, „a living nail‟, „a living wall‟, „glory to the land‟, „an eco-friendly grass‟, etc. (See the sources of such names in Annex 1.)

Few  plants possess such a large number of vernacular names in different countries of the world. Vetiver possesses hundreds of common names used by local people in developing tropical and subtropical countries in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and Latin America  and the Caribbean (Annex 2). This fact suggests that vetiver is an ancient plant grown by people of many different languages and dialects in many parts of the globe.

Few plants have the capability of being at the same time  economically  and ecologically important. Vetiver possesses both qualities, ensuring that it is one of the most versatile plants of the present day when both economical and ecological implications are of great importance.
Few plants have been seriously nurtured by a large number of networks in order to provide useful information to their members and other interested persons. Vetiver networks exist at all five levels, namely: global, regional, sub-regional, national, and city; and most are under the umbrella of a singleglobal network (Annex 3).

Few plants have the capability attracting numerous awards destined to those research workers or extensionists who conducted creditable research or work with the plants. Vetiver awards have been offered by prestigious public institutions as well as private institutions and individuals.

Few plants have received attention from such a wide range of people in all walks of life. Vetiver has been a favorite subject of the King and his royal family and the Prime Minister of Thailand as well as other ministers, politicians, chief executive officers, research workers, extentionists, engineers, academicians,  consultants, developers, all the way to the farmers in many countries in all five continents.
Few plants have emerged from obscurity to popularity in such a  short period of time. Vetiver was little known 20 years ago, but it is now well known throughout the world.
Few plants have been the sole subject of so many conferences, workshops, symposia, seminars, meetings, etc. International Conference on Vetiver (ICV) has been organized at regular intervals, while numerous other international and national conferences, meetings / seminars / workshops, etc. have also been held.
Above all, few plants are as unique and versatile as vetiver grass!