1. Research on Vetiver Grass
With the financial support from Sida/SLUF 2011-12 Environmental Protection & Natural Resources Management Programme, Mr. Abdisa Gesesse, a postgraduate student of Ambo University, conducted a research entitled “Evaluation of nutrient trapping by Vetiver Grass in soil eroded area of Anno Agro-Industry Farm, Gobu Sayo District, East Wellega Zone, Oromia Region, Ethiopia” and prepared a thesis for the partial fulfilment of the requirements for M.Sc. degree in Environmental Science, 2012.
Mr. Abdisa’s study revealed that “vetiver grass has significant impacts on soil conservation and nutrient trapping. It improves most of the soil physicochemical properties including soil moisture & soil organic matter contents, total nitrogen, available phosphorus & potassium, soil pH, EC and CEC as compared to non vetiver grass grown soil. This is due to the fact that vetiver plants form hedges or a living porous barrier, which slows and spreads runoff water and traps sediment”.
Stating that “vetiver grass is an effective soil conservation system in trapping nutrients at low cost”, Mr. Abdisa recommended the use of vetiver grass “as an affordable and sustainable soil management practice to improve soil fertility” and hence increase productivity of farmlands.
2. Farmers Generated Income from Sales of Vetiver Grass Clumps
A total of 59 individual farmers (23 female), Women’s Saving & Credit, and Youth Natural Resources Management Associations in Wedeb Eyesus Kebele, Dibay Tilat Gin District, East Gojam Zone of Ahmara Region, Ethiopia, have earned a total of ETB 42,628.50 (USD 2,395) from sales of vetiver grass clumps raised at their backyards as “Vetiver Banks” and group nurseries.
The highest income of ETB 9,000 (USD 506) each was generated by Farmer Tewabe Mekuriaw and Genet Women Saving & Credit Association.
Wedeb Eyesus Kebele, located at the foot of Chokie Mountain, in the great Abay Basin/catchment, is one of the Sida/SLUF supported sustainable land use pilot project areas.
The vetiver grass clumps sold by the farmers were bought by the pilot project and planted on 66 hectares of farmlands for SWC by target beneficiary farmers, gully slope stabilization, and central and individual/group nurseries.
Prepared by: Debela Dinka, Sustainable Land Use Forum, July 2012
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia .