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Patron - H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand

The Vetiver Network International (TVNI) promotes the worldwide use of the Vetiver System (VS) for a sustainable environment particularly in relation to land and water. The Network is a true network of individuals, groups, communities, entrepreneurs, and social organizations working together. The "networking" part is all voluntary - no managers and no remuneration! We believe that it is one of the most effective non profit environmental organizations in the world and is impacting greatly on all levels of society. The VS provides significant economic, environmental and social benefits. VS is now used in most tropical and semi-tropical countries, north to Italy and south to Chile.  Based on research and demonstrations through TVNI “partners,” including research institutions, development agencies, NGO's and the private sector, VS has expanded from a technology primarily for farm soil and water conservation to include major applications for: ..... more

TVNI history, achievements and time line presentation

DONATIONS. TVNI is administratively very small and is managed by volunteers around the world. Our budget rarely exceeds $20,000 a year. We need donations to ensure that this website, publications, and training can continue. If you have benefited from TVNI please consider a small donation. Even if you haven't, but would like to participate in this world wide environmental initiative we would appreciate you contribution however small. Donations are tax deductible.

TVNI POLICY STATEMENT ON VETIVER VARIETIES AND USE. NEW TVNI is aware that a number of varieties of vetiver grass are being used for various purposes of land management and conservation, and at times this may cause confusion and in some instances concern as to what variety falls legitimately under TVNI's "Vetiver System". Here follows TVNI's current policy:

"The Vetiver System (VS), as characterized and supported by TVNI, is based on the application of sterile varieties or cultivars of Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) RobertyAll other Chrysopogon species (syn. Vetiveria) that are fertile may be used for similar applications to those covered by VS, but cannot be guaranteed to be effective or meet the technical specifications attainable with the known, tested, proven, and sterile C. zizanioides. Fertile vetiver grass varieties may be utilized just as any other useful, native plant might be for soil and water conservation and land management; however, TVNI does not specifically promote their use, and it actively discourages the sales and export of viable seed or plant material of fertile vetiver to countries and regions where such plants are not native and thus may pose a risk of being invasive."

NEW Restoring Our Watershed is an organization in Costa Rica that is working with Communities to restore the degraded land and groundwater in northwest Costa Rica.  The heart and soul of its strategy is empowering families to control erosion and capture more rainwater, most frequently using vetiver grass technology (VGT).

"Restoring Our Watershed is creating a positive model for watershed management to ensure that future generations will have access to plentiful water, both in the Nandamojo basin and throughout Guanacaste.
Why? Water scarcity threatens communities in northwestern Costa Rica, and the process of assigning blame is tearing many apart. Major industries, including tourism and agriculture, have been pitted against residents of small towns whose wells are going dry. In most cases, the proposed solutions to this crisis focus solely on infrastructure improvements (new wells) or limiting the amount of water industries can withdraw.

Climate change has taken its toll on Guanacaste, which has suffered both a long-term drying trend and shorter, intense periods of drought. Projections for the future cast a grim outlook for the province – less rainfall and an increasing frequency of droughts.

Digging new wells and limiting irrigation are not comprehensive strategies for adapting to the challenges presented by climate change. They are short-term methods for providing potable water that do not address the core problem created by droughts – that landscapes dry out, leaving human, plant and animal communities without sufficient resources.

It is possible to address that problem by renewing a landscape’s ability to absorb rainwater. By creating a “sponge-like” terrain with protected waterways, vast volumes of water that would be lost to surface runoff or evaporation can instead be harvested in aquifers and ecosystems. Our vision is that the Nandamojo basin will serve as a model for achieving this transformation on a watershed scale.

How? Our strategy includes three components:

  1. Promoting land use change at the grass roots level by empowering families to adopt practices that infiltrate more rain into groundwater aquifers. We work directly with landowners of any size, providing them with the tools, knowledge and plants needed to transform their landscape into one that absorbs more rain.
  2. Providing watershed stewardship education for stakeholders of all ages. We reach out to everyone from elementary school students to watershed elders to discuss the urgency of protecting shared water resources and strategies for doing so.
  3. Fostering sustainable, local economic enterprises that both improve watershed health while and provide financial resources for watershed restoration and protection. We’ve implemented the Bees for Trees micro lending program to create green jobs while financing the reforestation of river corridors."

The Vetiver Network International has supported this type of strategy in the past and underscores its importance at this time.  Back in the 1980's when John Greenfield and I introduced VGT to World Bank Watershed projects in very dry areas of south India I recall how farmers at Gundalpet (600 - 800 mm rainfall) who had been using vetiver as field boundary hedges for generations told us that their wells never dried up, whereas other villages that did not use vetiver often had dry wells.  I also recall how John demonstrated how small farm ponds were recharged by shallow groundwater where vetiver hedgerows had been planted for soil and water conservation.  Nowadays where water is becoming a real issue, we should perhaps promote vetiver for water conservation, which automatically will generated soil conservation benefits - the beauty of this unique plant and its applications!! Contact:

NEW Vetiver Handicrafts Around the World. Communities in many tropical countries that have had access to vetiver grass have often used the plant as a source of material for making handicrafts. In recent years the vetiver handicraft has moved from fairly simple utility items such as baskets, platters, screens and so on, to the production of highly sophisticated and artistic items. The modern use of vetiver for these purposes was pioneered by the Royal Development Projects Board of Thailand. Not only did the Board support some exquisite handicraft work, but it also developed the technology and trained many Thais and others in its use. The Venezuelans, using some of the Thai techniques along with their own traditional methods, have also extended vetiver handicraft making. Many other countries including China and India are now using vetiver leaves and roots for handicrafts as shown in this very good presentation by Paul Truong and Joe West

NEW Vietnam Vetiver Network: For the past two years TVNI has been funding a project in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The project, which is ongoing, is bringing support to Central Highland farming communities in various forms of Vetiver System applications. TVNI support has also had an institutional impact in that the Vietnam Vetiver Network (VVN) now operates formally under the Danang Vetiver Foundation. The establishment of the Foundation has enabled VVN access to international funding, and has brought focus to many earlier and laudable vetiver initiatives that occurred in Vietnam since the beginning of this century, including the research leading to the potential use for Vetiver for Dioxin (Agent Orange) clean up. There are many committed Vietnamese supporting this project and other vetiver related applications, especially three who are involved in its management - Tran Man, Tran Van, and Nguyen Quyen. This recent Newsletter should be of interest of many of our readers.

NEW Extreme slope stabilization using the Vetiver System in Guatemala. At the Southern Africa Geomorphology Theory and Practice Conference that was held in Swaziland from July 25 to 28th 2017, Lionel Castro of VETIVER TEC located in Guatemala shared some of his Vetiver System applications for slope stabilization of extreme slopes in Guatemala using some new techniques. We congratulate Vetiver Tec on some excellent high quality work - See photo essay (Spanish) (English)

Vetiver And Agroforestry For Poverty Reduction And Natural Resources Protection In The Dabie Mountains Of China - A pictorial report of progress in this poor area of China. This is the second project in the Dabie Mountains that has the Vetiver System as a core component. Interesting to see the progress that is being made - note the large vetiver nurseries that have been developed by farmers for the sale of planting material to other farmers and construction agencies. This same project has developed a viable vetiver handicraft component as well. The project is the responsibility of the China Vetiver Network under the leadership of Liyu Xu.

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses, outdoor and closeup"The Father of Vetiver" John Greenfield died at his home in New Zealand on February 25 2017. John often reminded us that as agriculturists we had only 30 to 40 seasons to attempt to make significant change during our professional careers. He certainly succeeded in doing so, and today tens of thousands of people in the tropical world have benefited from his insights and actions on soil and moisture conservation and the application of the Vetiver System. He was a very practical hands on agronomist and conservationist whose work was always well based on science. He understood what he saw, and was able to create practical common sense solutions from those observations. We know him affectionately as "The Father of Vetiver" - and he is well known to many people through the simple hand book "Vetiver Grass - A Hedge Against Erosion" - a handbook that had to fit in the shirt pocket of a farmer! and one that has been translated into countless languages.
I personally knew John since 1985 when he came to work with me in India. He became a good friend and colleague. We had many great times together in India, and after, from a distance promoting the Vetiver System around the globe. His was not a wasted life, but one of action, one that will continue to impact for a very, very, long time into the future on many thousands users of the Vetiver System in many different ways. John was always looking to help the world's small rainfed farmers. The best tribute to him would be for those people working with and advising this group of farmers, to make greater efforts to introduce the Vetiver System and the very unique plant that it is based on. Those who work with small farmers might like to read this: ALLEVIATING POVERTY IN THE THIRD WORLD -- THIS IS ALL IT TAKES!
Emerging from John's "Vetiver Grass Technology" based soil and water conservation focused work has been, in recent years, a series of bioengineering and phytoremediation applications that could have a profound impact on our environment at this time of climate change.
Our thoughts are with Sandra (his long time partner) and his children.

Vetiver related Face book pages: We now have 31 identified Face book pages that are related to the Vetiver System and its applications. This list can be found at: If anyone knows of additional Face book pages not included in our list please let us know. It is encouraging to see the spread of the technology in all parts of the world where the grass will grow.

Vietnam Vetiver Network Newsletter - December 2016.. This is a useful newsletter from Vietnam, that demonstrates how a small amount of funding (in this instance a grant from TVNI) can activate,demonstrate, and re-energise a Vetiver System program that had a strong foundation that had somewhat stagnated. Thanks to Man Tran (VVN coordinator) and Nguyen Quyen (Vetiver Promotions/Development Officer) the Vietnam Vetiver Network is on the move again and is doing some interesting work involving many different applications of VS.

Vetiver Latrine Guide. A "how to" guide (UPDATED 2017) to successfully install a natural, sustainable latrine using vetiver grass. A few years ago Owen Lee promoted a rather simple concept for using vetiver to improve pit latrines in Haiti with the objective of reducing the incidence of disease (particularly cholera), stabilizing the latrine pit walls, reducing fecal effluent from polluting nearby water supplies, and for providing privacy. Vetiver together with a low cost and simple concrete toilet slab was able to achieve these objectives for about $20 a latrine. We understand that disease problems have been significantly reduced and that only 2 out of 300 latrines had pit wall collapses. Roger Gietzen who does voluntary work in Haiti is extending Owen Lee's work with vetiver latrines and has developed a very useful "how to" guide. He is hoping that the guide will be translated into multiple languages and used widely. His updated guide is at:

TVNI - PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION FOR BIOENGINEERING AND PHYTOREMEDIATION APPLICATIONS.TVNI Announces new certification for qualified practitioners specializing in Vetiver System applications in Bioengineering and /or phytoremediation. This includes:

  • New, more rigorous eligibility criteria and guidelines for bioengineering and phytoremediation certification.  Criteria and guidelines for other categories remain basically as before.
  • No longer “Certificate of Technical Excellence”, now “Professional Certification” for bioengineering and phytoremediation certification. 
  • Application fee of $250 for professional certification
  • Alternative “Technical Excellence” certification available to those who do not wish to apply under new guidelines.

The use of Vetiver Grass Technology in bioengineering and phytoremediation has been expanding at a rapid pace around the globe in the last few years.  Increasingly, TVNI is being asked to provide practitioners with a Certificate of Technical Excellence in these areas of application.  In the past, we received relatively few such requests and the majority of them came from individuals whose work was known well, or whose expertise could be confirmed by known and trusted qualified TVNI members.  Today, this is less commonly the case.  Many individuals seeking certification are professionals. For these, TVNI certification is a way of enhancing their and/or their company’s professional profile and competitiveness.  In addition, with many of these, we must rely completely upon the information they provide to us as a means of judging if they are worthy of certification or not.
As a result, TVNI has updated its eligibility criteria and guidelines relating to provision of proof/documentation for those seeking certification in Vetiver System Bioengineering and/or Phytoremediation applications.  This is necessary as there are serious considerations of human life and health, irreversible environmental damage and economic loss associated with inadequate design, installation, and/or maintenance/monitoring.
In developing these new criteria and guidelines, we have in mind that applicants would be professional consultants and contractors.  In addition, as the review of their applications will require the time and services of like professionals, TVNI will be instituting a charge of $250 for certification.

Details of the new certification are at: and

BRAZIL – VETIVER HANDICRAFT TRAINING COURSE - A community development initiative(photos)

Last month (September 2106), at the initiative of Deflor BIOENGENHARIA, we held a workshop for training Vetiver handicraft craftsmen. The event was held in the beautiful facilities of HOTEL FAZENDA DA CHACARA, located in the vicinity of Santana dos Montes, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil,between the 31/08 and 16/09, involving a total of 112 hours of training.

The activity is part of Deflor’s community development program, and was opened by its Chairman, Ing. Aloisio Rodrigues Pereira, with guests including the Mayor of the Municipality and Sacedorte Parish. The course was managed by Deflor’s Engineers, Paula Leao and Luiz Lucena. Venezuelan, Marbella Rivas Hernández, was the trainer, under the advice and supervision of Rafael Luque M, of Vetiver Antierosión, C.A., Venezuela.

The workshop taught the participants the various types of braids that are used to manufacture various vetiver products; followed by weaving techniques where participants made dining table mats, bottles, fans, angels, small decorative pieces attached by magnets to refrigerators, and finally the hen egg cup  Participants were also told about the spread of vetiver teaching, and techniques to harvest the leaves and their processing as a fiber for crafts.

Course participants, with support from Deflor, will in the future meet once a week to improve their techniques and will include new participants from the community.

The company provided participants with a number of vetiver plants to plant at their homes and thus have own raw material. Deflor also presented them with an industrial sewing machine, looms and other tools, and will continue providing with supplementary materials for the production of handicrafts. The project includes marketing through the hotel, local shops, and other regional outlets. They will receive training in fair price marketing. Additional workshops will be held for learning techniques for making other products such as  furniture, over the next 6 to nine months.

We congratulate Deflor Bioengenharia for this community initiative and urge other Latin American companies to follow its example and create similar environmental oriented income earning projects for low-income communities. The training program is based on international Vetiver handicraft training that has been developed over the past 10 years. Those interested in the subject can write to

POTENTIAL APPLICATION OF VETIVER FOR REMEDIATION OF "AGENT ORANGE" CONTAMINATED SOILS IN VIETNAM. The Vietnam  Institute of Geosciences and Mineral  Resources (VIGMR) is holding an international workshop on October 25-26, 2016. "Heavy metals, Dioxins and Persistent Organic Pollutants POPs)- their impact and the potential use of Vetiver Grass for remediation" . Workshop invitation at this link. A summary of the research project - Study on the potential use of vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizianioides L) in mitigating soil contaminated by toxic chemicals and dioxins – A case study at Bien Hoa airbase” is available. Mitigating the very negative long term impact of defoliate chemicals containing dioxins that were applied during the Vietnam War is very important to the Government of Vietnam and to the Vetiver Network International. The research carried out over the past few years at the Bien Hoa airbase has shown very encouraging results to the extent that "Vetiver can be widely applied in treating the contaminated environment in Vietnam, especially dioxin contamination and heavy metals. The results of this project will be used as the scientific basis of treatment of these contaminations"

VETIVER COLD TOLERANCE. "Comparison of twelve vetiver cultivars for winter survival at freezing and below freezing soil temperatures". Robert P. Adams of Baylor University Texas shared information that indicate that certain cultivars of Chrysopogon zizanoides are more cold tolerant than we thought. Quote "This study shows that there are cold tolerance differences between cultivars. It may be that soil freezing at 6" depth is a critical factor in survival." Details at this link

John Greenfield provides a timely reminder that it is easy to lose focus on the essentials of improving crop production. He has prepared a note that underscores that lack of focus. "There is only one way to make rainfed subsistence farmers capable of producing food and cash crops on a sustainable basis, and that is by controlling runoff, no matter how little or how much, but by controlling runoff using dense vetiver hedges planted across the slope, as seen below. This is all it takes.
A simple vetiver hedge planted across the slope, as shown here, is anchored in to the ground by its massive 3+ m vertical root system. This is all the rainfed farmer needs to control runoff, slow it down, spread it out and prevent the loss of soil and nutrients, at the same time store essential soil moisture under rainfed conditions, for sustainable crop production. This non-invasive hedge of vetiver grass once established will last for decades without any special maintenance
". Read more

VETIVER VIDEOS ON "YOU TUBE"..There are now many videos about Vetiver Grass Technology on You Tube. Some are very useful and informative. Best to search under "Vetiver Grass" "Vetiver System" "Sistema Vetiver"

VETIVER TRACKING SYSTEM Did you read the award winning ICV6 paper “Management And Monitoring Of Vetiver Grass Plantation In Thailand By Using Vetiver Grass Tracking System” by Kittima Sivaarthitkul, Chunphen Larpchitr, Pornpat Nopmalai, and Weera Pathakheenang of Thailand’s Land Development Department? (  Following the conference it was agreed that the Thais would develop a world wide Vetiver Tracking System. The overall goal is to develop a comprehensive framework of Vetiver tracking based on smart phone Android and iOS apps and a web-based application for user and data management. The apps will have single sign on for individual  registered user, display vetiver projects around the world with projects description, detailed information in different modes, allow the addition of new sites and update the site information. It will allow users to modify or delete information. Vetiver grass area map will be viewed along with the satellite image or street map as background.  Users can export data in different format  and  can  share  in  social media. Additionally, the Vetiver site location and description can be also accessed via the web-browser.  The public at large will be able to view data and site information, and there will be a stratified permission system for data input.  As far as possible it will be user driven.  The detailed proposal has now been virtually finalized by the Asian Institute of Technology.  If funding can be agreed we hope the tracking system to be working by the end of 2016.

NEW VETIVER PROGRAM FOR VIETNAM CENTRAL HIGHLANDS.. The Vetiver Network International and the Chaipattana Foundation of Thailand are supporting the Vietnam Vetiver Network to develop a program to tackle the very bad soil erosion impacting farming communities in the highlands of Central Vietnam. The erosion and reduced soil moisture in negatively impacting farm production, particularly coffee, and is reducing water quality downstream in these highland catchments. The Vietnam Vetiver Network Coordinator, Mr. Van Man, and his program manager Ms. Nguyen Quyen are responsible for the program that was initiated on September 1 2015. They will work with a broad spectrum of agencies and users in Central Vietnam and will provide technical training, plant supply and planning support for communities. TVNI is contributing US$20,000 and the Chaipattana Foundation has provided training support. In the past field trials at many sites in Vietnam have shown the effectiveness of VS for soil and water conservation and the positive impact on cassava and maize production. This work was never followed up until now. This program is worthy of additional support, and those interested might wish to contact Ms. Quyen.

- Vetiver System Soil and Water Conservation research out of Nigeria! Climate change is already creating more intense storms – floods; and less rain and higher temperatures – drought. It will get WORSE. We need to become very much more active in finding solutions that can easily and inexpensively be applied. We have written many times about the Vetiver System for soil and water conservation, and now is the time to step up its application particularly in the warmer areas of the world. The verified facts are that the Vetiver System’s use of the  unique plant, Vetiver grass, results in: (1) significant reduction in soil loss, (2) significant reduction in rain fall runoff, (3) reduced soil fertility loss, (4) improved groundwater recharge, and (5) improved crop yields and incomes. 

The latest research comes from a Nigerian paper , “Using Vetiver Technology To Control Erosion And Improve Productivity In Slope Farming” by Efiom Essien Oku, Emilolorun Ambrose Aiyelari, Kwabena Owusu Asubonteng; published by United Nations University Institute For Natural Resources In Africa (Unu-Inra).  These trials were undertaken on 45% slopes in southeastern Nigeria where the rainfall exceeds 1,000 mm per year and the soils have high acidity and have been disturbed by cultivation with high soil, water, carbon, and plant nutrient losses, leading to significant reduction in crop yields.

“This study assessed the effectiveness of vetiver buffer strips in mitigating degradation on a landscape of 45% slope. Vetiver Buffer Strip (VBS) planted at intervals of 5m, 15m and 25m surface spacing were compared to each other and also to usual farmers’ practice (FP) as the control. Twelve erosion plots, each measuring about 50m long and 3m wide were used. The plots were planted with traditional mixture of maize (10,000 plants ha-1) and cassava (30,000 plants ha-1). Pre and post-experiment soil properties including bulk density, organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous, exchangeable bases were determined in the laboratory. Runoff, soil loss, crop yields and rainfall were also measured. Of the total soil loss in 2010, 70% was from FP, and VBS at 5m, 15m and 25m respectively was 4%, 14%, and 12%; and 2011 78%, 3%, 10% and 9%.  In 2010 rainfall lost as runoff was 29%, 7%, 12% and 13% under FP and VBS at 5m, 15m and 25m respectively; and the corresponding loss in 2011 was 21%, 8%, 10% and 11%. Crop yields were significantly higher under VBS plots. Yield declined in the second year under FP whereas it increased under VBS plots. When compared with FP plots, maize yields increased by 55%, 27% and 32% in 2010 under VBS with 5m, 15m and 25m spacing, and in 2011, it increased by 89%, 69% and 68%, with the same interval spacing respectively. Cassava yields increase under VBS at 5m, 15m and 25m by 76%, 47% and 41% respectively in 2010. The corresponding values for 2011 were 289%, 206% and 188%. Carbon loss in eroded sediment were 91%, 41% and 21% lower under VBS at 5m, 15m and 25m spacing respectively, than under FP in 2010; and in 2011, where it was 300%, 177% and 84%. Nitrogen loss was also lower under VBS at 5m, 15m and 25m by 80%, 28% and 29% in 2010 respectively, and in 2011, the values were 175%, 120% and 57%. Vetiver buffer at 5m interval significantly reduced runoff, soil losses and increased yields of the crops under study. In addition, vetiver showed dual potentials in climate change adaptation and GHGs emission mitigation, sequestering carbon and nitrogen and enhancing water use efficiency when compared with FP”. “Planting of vetiver grass on the contour 5m apart can effectively decrease soil and nutrient losses and sustainably increase agricultural productivity. Additionally, it holds the capacity to sequester carbon and nitrogen that would have escaped into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (C02) and nitrous oxide (N20) contribute to GHGs emissions.” The full paper is at:

This research used Chrysopogon nigritana – a variety of Vetiver that is native to many countries in Africa, and although the plant is fertile it is not considered aggressive or invasive when grown under upland conditions. These results are in line with other Vetiver experimental results undertaken in the wet tropics. It is particularly important for countries with small and poor farmers to find suitable technologies that remedy the issues that they face.  The Vetiver System is one of them. For those readers interested in learning some of the practical aspects of introducing the Vetiver System take a look at John Greenfield's paper: Poverty Alleviation Using the Vetiver System in Tropical Developing Countries.

China and the use of Vetiver as a livestock feed. -- Liyu Xu, Vetiver Coordinator for China, has been promoting the Vetiver System for 20 years, and continues to provide us with feedback on the use of vetiver in south China.  Most of the areas that he personally is involved with are relatively high rainfall and hilly areas where soil is poor and where people are poor.  In Yunnan province a group of farmers have formed a cooperative to support the production of cattle and goats using vetiver as the main source of feed. Liyu's note is at: and is well worth reading.  The bottom line is that when grown as a forage, and managed and fed on a rotational cutting system at a time when the vetiver leaf is young it is possible to get good growth and substantial increase in incomes.  It is interesting that these farmers also sell some of their vetiver as plant material to local construction companies for slope stabilization and other purposes. In addition on farm erosion and rainfall runoff is reduced. Seems to be a WIN WIN situation!!

I have been writing about the potential of these  multipurpose applications of vetiver for a number of years now.  This one from Yunnan is a good example.  Vetiver is grown and managed (not just as a hedge) as a forage crop supporting, in this case, 3 head of cattle/ha; it is cut as forage every two or three weeks (at larger scale it could be strip grazed); some of it is being harvested and sold as planting material; it is drought tolerant, it grows with minimum inputs, and is protecting and enhancing the soil. The cow manure will either be used for biogas production or returned to the land.  The cooperative structure is interesting, quote "The cooperative operates as a combination of company, cooperative, and farmers. The Yunnan Vetiver Sci-Tech Co. Ltd, a branch company of Kunming Guangbao Biotechnology Engineering Co. Ltd is a shareholder in the form of technical service, seedling supply, and Vetiver plant material repurchase; the cooperative distributes seedlings to farmers in terms of individual need; and the farmers individually cultivate the Vetiver.  Worth trying in other countries????

VETIVER SYSTEM AND DROUGHT - How Vetiver saved a farmers herd of cattle in Venezuela. Climate change is resulting in severe droughts in some parts of the world.  The Vetiver System if applied and managed as a forage crop could provide communities and farmers greater resilience and protection.  Analysis of vetiver leaf shows that at a young stage its nutritional value is as good as the popular tropical grasses such as Rhodes, Napier, Star, Kikuyu and others. The key question is how to manage vetiver in order to  produce a quality forage.  Small farmers in Gundalpet, south India, know - they cut their vetiver hedges every three weeks - great forage! We need to apply an appropriate management approach, probably following controlled strip grazing or rotational grazing practices, for those farmers who could use vetiver as a forage crop at large scale. Here follows an interesting and related story from Raphael Luque of Venezuela titled "Vetiver Saved My Herd". . read on

News from China Vetiver Coordinator, Liyu Xu. -The second year of a new project: ”Vetiver and agroforestry for poverty reduction and natural resource protection in the Dabie mountains of China”, supported by Germany, continues to promote VS technology in this very poor part of China.
Mr. Yong Lu, associate professor from School of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, has redesigned our website.  When opened by Google Chrome browser it can be nicely translated to English
A new book “Vetiver System Research, Application and Extension”, edited by Xia Hanping and Liyu Xu will introduce new VS development since 2008 in China and in the world. This will follow a book titled “Vetiver System: Theory and Practice” published in 2008.
We will establish a new network: Southwest China Vetiver Network based on  Kunming to promote VS development in a region covered by many mountains.

VETIVER INSTALLATION GUIDE. This guide was prepared by Oahu Resource Conservation and Development Council in cooperation with USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Pacific Islands Area with support from an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (November 2012). It is an excellent guide particularly for soil conservation applications. Recommended reading.

Coincident to the Climate Change meeting in Paris, TVNI has published the Second Edition of “The Vetiver System for Quality – Prevention and Treatment of Contaminated Water and Land” authored by Paul Truong of Australia and Luu Thai Danh of Vietnam.  The publication updates research and fields experience carried out by various scientists and users around the world showing the importance and success of the Vetiver System for dealing with polluted water and land.  The results and methods applied demonstrates the uniqueness of Vetiver grass as a plant that has special characteristics in its stand alone mode, as well as its interesting symbiotic relationship with other organisms associated with its rhizosphere that enable Vetiver to remove toxic chemicals from both soil and water.  A plant that is so well behaved, that can clean up polluted water and land contaminated by heavy metals and other toxic chemicals, and that can function efficiently over a huge range of soil, water, and climatic conditions, is truly incredible.  This publication is a testament to many contributors to the development of the Vetiver System, especially to Paul Truong who has dedicated a good part of his life to the development of  “Vetiver Phytoremediation Technology”.  Hard copy of this book (containing nearly one hundred photos, figures, and tables) is available in early December from, and can be viewed on TVNI’s website -

SPANISH EDITION of "The Vetiver System For Improving Water Quality: Prevention And Treatment Of Contaminated Water And Land - Second Edition (2015)" has now been published. Thanks to Pablo Ruiz Lavalle and Iliana Toussieh of Red Colaborativa de Permacultura La Margarita (Mexico) for translating the manual into Spanish, this edition is now downloadable at:…

Hard copy of this book can be purchased (as of May 11 2016) from Amazon online sites in the US, Europe and UK. If anyone want to buy in bulk (more than 10 copies), I can arrange a considerably lower price (if you contact me). This price reduction is available for all TVNI published books on Amazon.

VETIVER SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE USED MORE WIDELY FOR STABILIZING INFRASTRUCTURE. Since 2000 the Vietnamese provincial governments have been testing and using the Vetiver Ssytem, at large scale, for highway (Ho Chi Minh Highway) -- and for Sea Dyke Protection in the Mekong Delta - These are a very important applications and show the impact of vetiver over 8-15 years of use. When the Vietnamese under take trials, they don't mess around with a few meters, instead they think kilometers! I can see VS application for highway and sea dike protection in many countries, but specifically in south and East Asia (China, Philippines, Indonesia. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and India). VS protection is long lasting and a very low cost (as much as 90% over conventional practices). The Vietnamese experience is FACT not FICTION and is applicable most places in the tropics. Why is it not being used widely? Many answers - the most important being: lack of knowledge, "too good, too cheap" syndrome (in other words PROFITS), and entrenched traditional habits or ignorance by those responsible - and in the latter I include many of the international and bilateral agencies! Please CORRECT me if I am wrong. Thank you Vietnam for showing the way.

SOLVE SOME OF YOUR CLIMATE CHANGE PROBLEMS BY USING THE VETIVER SYSTEM - A SYSTEM THAT IS NOT USED ENOUGH BECAUSE IT WORKS TOO WELL AND IS TOO CHEAP!! - At a time when extreme weather events effect the stability of many different types of infrastructure in tropical countries here are links to four presentations given at ICV6. They are interesting, thought provoking and very relevent to our times:
Application of Vetiver (Vetiveria Zizaniodes) as a Bio-technical Slope Protection Measure – Some Success Stories in Bangladesh by Mohhamad Isla. PhD
Vetiver System for Infrastructure Protection in Vietnam: A Review after Fourteen Years of Application on the Ho Chi Minh Highway (2000- 2014) by Tran Tan Van PhD and Paul Truong PhD
Mine and Associated Rehabilitation Projects in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands by Roley Noffke
A Social Investment Opportunity for Rural Communities in Improving Land Degradation Using the Vetiver System by Roley Noffke

GEOTROPISM OF VETIVER GRASS. A photo essay of vetiver grass applied to various slope stabilization applications by Paul Truong, TVNI Technical Director. THIS IS THE BEST COLLECTION OF VS SLOPE STABILIZATION EVER PUBLISHED AND EXPLAINS WHY VETIVER IS SO EFFECTIVE. ENGINEERS PLEASE TAKE A LOOK!! A picture, and there are many, is worth a thousand words! These pictures are real pearls!

Vetiver System in Iran. Salman Shooshtarian of Iran has informed TVNI about ongoing work with VS in his country (see).  He and Ali Tehranifar have translated the Vetiver Grass Manual by Truong et al into Persian and there work has now been published in by Iranian Agricultural Science Publications: The Iranian Association for the Promotion of Vetiver has been established as an NGO - see their interesting presentation and the latest work on canal banks and rivers The visual demonstration and the quality of the vetiver plants and their growth clearly demonstrates the application of VS in semi arid and arid areas and is particularly applicable to Mediterranean and Middle East countries. Another VS application of great potential in these areas is for the treatment of waste water in its various forms on either small or large scale.

Establishing Native Vegetation for Soil Stabilization in Semi-Arid Areas in South Africa, Ethiopia and Madagascar. An excellent presentation by Roley Noffke of Hydromulch - Africa's leading land restoration company."As a pioneer species, vetiver grass, enables native species to establish on degraded sites where under normal circumstances it is impossible for the latter to develop. Vetiver grass provides habitat, shelter and forage to fauna". 

Vetiver Phytoremediation Technology (VPT) -- Paul Truong is TVNI's Technical Director and a world authority on the use of vetiver grass technology for the treatment ofcontaminated land and water. We refer to this type of application as Vetiver Phytoremediation Technology (VPT) . He has recently prepared a useful photo essay on the use of VPT for waste water treatment, comparing the before and after impact of vetiver. There are also two water treatment programs one, in Singapore (using C.nemoralis instead of the more efficient C. zizanioides) that Paul helped design, and the other in Oman (using Phragmites sp) designed by BAUER Umwelt GmbH of Germany). Both have interesting design features, and both could use C. zizanioidies. This slide show can be downloaded as a pdf file.

If you have problems with dealing with waste water and sewage effluent on your property you may be able to use the Vetiver System to eradicate it. This model by Paul and Nicholas Truong shows you how, and the number of plants that you will need.

Treating Industrial waste water with Vetiver -- Here is a nice example from Paul Truong of how vetiver can be used for industrial or agricultural waste water treatment using floating pontoons (best design yet) and by planting on the banks of the lagoons. There is great potential to apply the Vetiver System for waste water treatment not only on industrial scale but also for smaller treatment needs for single households, small hospitals, hotels, schools, refugee camps, etc. using the alternative "wetland" vetiver application.

VETIVER SYSTEM - A SOLUTION FOR URBAN WASTE WATER TREATMENT IN THE TROPICS?: In most cities, towns, and villages in developing countries there is no connection to a public sewage/waste water treatment.  Where there is a connection the effluent is often discharged without treatment to near by rivers. Where there is no sewage system some properties may have septic tanks, and the majority of these leak and miss function.  The result is that water tables, water bodies, and the local environment are polluted with consequential increases in foul smelling air, undrinkable water, and increased water borne diseases.  One such an example, described in a World Bank report on Indonesia describes the city of Palembang, South Sumatra, with a population of over a million having no direct sewage connections, and 70% of the households having septic tanks, of which 30% miss function.
Correcting this situation with conventional costly technologies for Palembang, and tens of thousands of other urban centers in the tropics will be prohibitive and will take decades. It is essential to start installing low cost, flexible, and sustainable remedies, that might not be perfect, but are able to reduce the problems significantly.
The Vetiver Phytoremedial Technology (VPT) as developed by Paul Truong is one such solution. Read more ......

VETIVER AND HEALTH - Improving quality of life in Haiti. Low cost and affordable sanitation. - The Vetiver Latrine.
"Those of those who are not familiar with the vetiver latrine. About one third of the global population does not have adequate access to a simple toilet. Logically it is the poorest of the poor that does not have this basic necessity and because they cannot afford them. The idea is to reduce the cost of a latrine by using vetiver as a construction material instead of bricks and cement. The design is a simple slab with vetiver planted around. The roots of the vetiver will stabilized the pit and the blades will act as a privacy screen. Using this technology we have been able to reduce the cost of a latrine from about $500 to about $25. Considering that most Haitians make less than $1.25 a day that makes sanitation affordable. If you are interested please check out
Progress and update: We finished another 247 latrines in April 2013 giving a total of 362 vetiver latrines. I did a survey of about 30% of the household of the batch that was completed in Sept 2012. After 2.5 years of use: (a) the latrines are self cleaning, 100% of the latrines were clean; (b) 0% of the latrines were mis-used (this is a common problem when NGO build latrines that are better than the homes they become storage depots and not latrines) (c) 100% of the households were satisfied with the latrine (d) none of the latrine pits collapsed; (e) people were very happy with the privacy screen; (f) of those who originally built a non-vetiver privacy screen 80% did not have one 2.5 years later. They said it was too much work maintaining a privacy screen and that the vetiver did a fine enough job; (g) when i visited the village in Nov 2014 all the latrines had only vetiver as a privacy screen.
There were no morbidity records before the project so it is difficult to quantify the public health benefit of the project. What we can say is that when there was a cholera outbreak in the area the village was not effected (Sanitation usually affects the spread of cholera not the initial infection). Anecdotally number of child deaths due to diarrhea has been reduced (we used to have one death every 2-3 months and for now people can't remember a child death from diarrhea for 15 months and counting)
We are looking into making the latrine more potable so that it can be produced in a centralized location and transported to remote sites"
. Owen Lee


Soil Erosion Control: The Vetiver System is the premier soil erosion method outside of temperate zones.; Narrow hedgerows of Vetiver grass will spread out rainfall runoff across the slope, act as a filter to trap erosion sediment, create natural terraces and reduces the velocity of rainfall runoff. It has application for on farm soil and water conservation, rehabilitation of eroded lands, and prevention of erosion on sloping lands. Learn More

Agriculture Improvement: The Vetiver System has many agricultural uses for: soil and water conservation, soil moisture improvement, groundwater recharge, recycling soil nutrients, pest control, mulch, forage, clean up of agricultural contaminated waste water, protection of farm infrastructure (canals, drains, roads, and building sites. Learn More


Slope Protection: The combination of deep roots with tensile strength of 75 MPa that improve the shear strength of soil by as much as 40% makes Vetiver grass an ideal plant for stabilizing steep and unstable slopes. The Vetiver System when applied to such slopes significantly reduces the probability of land slippage and reduces the need for “hard solutions”. Applications include highway, railway, riverbanks, public utility right of ways, canal, dikes, and levee slopes. x Learn More


Disaster Mitigation: The Vetiver System can be used to reduce potential disasters caused by extreme rainfall events.  Stabilization of levees and sea dikes reduces the chance of breaching and subsequent devastating flooding.  Steep slope protection by Vetiver grass reduces potential land slippage caused by high rainfall events. c Learn More


Prevention and Treatment of Contaminated Water and Land: The Vetiver grass will tolerate high levels of nitrates, phosphates, heavy metals, and agricultural chemicals.  The Vetiver System can be used for treating wastewater, rehabilitating mine tailings, stabilizing landfills and general rubbish dumps. The Vetiver System takes up the toxic materials and confines the contaminates to the effected area. x Learn More


Community Quality of Life and Poverty Reduction: In most developing countries many of the Vetiver System applications can be applied at minimum cost to poor rural communities to enhance quality of life through protection of water supplies, improving soils and increasing farm benefits, cleaning up waste water and reduction of diseases, protection of rural infrastructure, and providing by-products for handicrafts, forage, mulch, thatch, medicines, and Vetiver plant material for sale to other users. x Learn More


Landscaping: The Vetiver System can be applied for urban landscaping including beautification, slope stabilization, traffic dividers, demarcation of walkways, prevention of urban erosion etc. x Learn More


Handicrafts: Vetiver grass provides a source of excellent material for handicrafts, particularly if the leaves are properly processed first. Sometimes, as in the case of Venezuela, a handicraft program for women and girls led to the Vetiver System being used for other applications. Thus adding to the quality of communities and community effort. x Learn More


Helpful Reading Vetiver Systems Application - A Technical Reference Manual: Second Edition. June 2008. by Paul Truong, Tran Tan Van, and Elise Pinners is now published in FULL color (170 images) and available at for US $20 plus shipping.  This 91 page book packs all the essentials for putting in place the many applications of the Vetiver System.  It has five parts: The Vetiver Plant; Methods of Propagation; Disaster Mitigation and Infrastructure Protection; Prevention and Treatment of Contaminated Water and Land; On-farm erosion control and other uses.  The book is based on world wide experience and especially the last eight years in Vietnam.  The information can be used and applied virtually in any part of the world that has hot summers and mild (non ground freezing winters).  People responsible for working in tropical and semi-tropical developing countries should own a copy of this book. The book has been published in English, French, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Swahili, Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese editions can be downloaded (note you need a Google account to do this) at no cost from the internet. Hard copies of the English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili editions can be bulk ordered (minimum 10 copies) from TVNI on request at significantly reduced prices. Single copies of English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili can be purchased directly from See full list of all publications.

From Sally Holker - Women Weave of India - "I planted vetiver three monsoons ago on my eleven acres of land (Central India, on the banks of the Narbada River, near Maheshwar). The original idea was to arrest the erosion of my very unstable terrain, which slopes at a twenty degree angle from the north (top) down to the river (south) and was slowly washing the whole story away. That has completely reversed itself now. The vetiver has been a miracle and has multiplied many times over. Not only is the land stable, but also we have been able to use the leaf of these plants very effectively in a project close to my heart. For thirty years I have been committed to increasing rural employment for women in our area through hand loom weaving. Most of the area weaves cotton and silk. We are now weaving vetiver leaf; making and selling beautiful table mats and runners."
From Debela Dinka - Sustainable Land Use Forum, Ethiopia. "According to our partner NGO in Illubabor, Ethio-Wetlands and Natural Resource Association (EWNRA), vetiver technology is more or less being used in 17 districts of 22 in Illubabor. It is estimated that about 17,000 households are using vetiver. It is expected that the remaining 5 districts will be involved. The major impacts of vetiver are: decreased rate of soil erosion; increased crop (maize sorghum, vegetables) yield due to soil and water conservation; reduced siltation of wetlands & streams; groundwater recharge which subsequently improved flow of springs, streams & wetlands; survival rate of tree & coffee seedlings reached more than 80%. Other uses of vetiver: mulching in coffee plantations; thatching of houses, stores & shades (vetiver grass gives long time service); mattress making (it repels home fleas & other insects); homestead hedgerows for beautification; making rope; income generation (farmers sell vetiver clumps for planting materials); and the green leaves of vetiver are cut and spread in & around homes during holidays & social gatherings such as wedding ceremonies."
From Tran Tan Van - Vietnam. "Vietnam, like most countries, suffers natural disasters and environmental degradation. The threat from future rising sea levels puts Vietnam in the top five most endangered nations. Yearly 1000 people die during storms; as a result of toxic pollution of waterways, yearly average property damage is $300,000,000. The government understands the need to mitigate these effects but has resorted to using piecemeal, conventional engineering works. These are very expensive, technically complicated and are not durable. TVNI’s introduction of VS into Vietnam 7 years ago was for Vietnam “a timely glass of fresh water to the thirsty desert traveller”. It has been tested, demonstrated and adopted by the government, the research community, the private sector and individuals. The speed of its adoption over large landscapes attests that it is indeed the solution to myriad problems. Vietnam represents one of the world’s most successful cases of VS use".

USDA/NRCS endorses Vetiveria zizanioides (Sunshine cultivar) In a very useful and practical plant guide USDA/NRCS supports the use of Vetiver (Sunshine cultivar) for soil and water conservation, slope stabilization and phytoremediation. It also vindicates Vetiver as a non invasive plant:

"For approximately the past 15 years, no volunteer seedlings have been observed from conservation plantings of Sunshine in the Pacific Islands Area. Sunshine was evaluated for invasiveness by the Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment and Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk. It received a low risk score (-8) for the potential to become invasive." Note: Sunshine Vetiver has the same genotype (DNA tested) as the majority of cultivars of Vetiveria zizanioides used under the Vetiver System throughout the world.

CERTIFICATES OF TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE See a complete list of those certified in Vetiver System Technology. Details on how to get certified. Example of "Class 1" submission

Vetiver System Overview plant Learn More
The Vetiver Network International (TVNI) promotes the Vetiver System (VS), a concept integrating simple scientific principals of hydrology, soil mechanics, and similar natural processes to manage soil and water on a landscape scale. The concept excels best when implemented using clones of a remarkable domesticated plant – vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides), a non fertile, noninvasive Indian clump grass cultivated for centuries for essential oil. Vetiver is central to a wide range of applications, generally installed as narrow linear barriers (hedgerows): its roots hold soil in place and dense ground-level stems restrain sediment flows. Unlike “hard” engineering approaches that weaken over time, VS grows stronger. It is a renewal of a traditional approach that has been validated scientifically, and expanded and promoted by TVNI. The VS provides significant economic, environmental and social benefits. VS is now used in most tropical and semi-tropical countries, north to Italy and south to Chile. Based on research and demonstrations through TVNI “partners,” including research institutions, development agencies, NGO's and the private sector, VS has expanded from a technology primarily for farm soil and water conservation to include major applications for:

  • slope stabilization of public infrastructure (e.g., roads, railways, canals, rivers, construction);
  • prevention and treatment of contaminated domestic and industrial waste water;
  • reclamation of toxic mine-tailings and polluted industrial land;
  • disaster mitigation (e.g., stabilizing potential landslide sites, dikes and levees, dampening wind scour, and area protection against flooding);
  • soil improvement, wetland and marginal land restoration, and crop pest control;
  • renewable natural fibre for handicraft production, mulch, and thatch, etc.
  • bio-fuels

All these applications impact positively on sustaining the environment and natural resources, while improving human welfare. For more details about the plant, its propagation and how to plant it go to this link g/the_plant.htm

Vetiver Library .... To help users find information more easily about the Vetiver System we have established a "library" on the Zotero site. You can search against subject, tag, alphabetically, language amongst others. We have not completed the upload of all the documents and their links, but this should be completed soon. We will continue to keep operating the TVNI website search engine for those who wish to use it.

USA users - go to this Plant Guide about Vetiver (Sunshine cultivar), published by USDA/NRCS - and be assured of its approval.

BUY VETIVER SYSTEM TECHNICAL MANUALS at AMAZON.COM English, French, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese editions - download free

Compare Vetiver System for on farm soil and water conservation with engineered structures.