Vetiver in India
Today I report the opinion expressed by Gopalkrishanan, indian blogger, self defined:"an ordinary Indian citizen, honest, aggressive, team builder, short-tempered, God-fearing man."
It is about vetiver's capability of storing rainwater in the terrain providing a useful reserve in post emergence phase of Ragi, a millet grown as a cereal in Gundlupet, Karnataka (cut and paste to google earth).
In his Blog, he tells that, where tea is grown, the land is hilly and terraces are contained by stone revetments and no other erosion control measure is used. Costs linked to this type of containment are about 3,5 times higher than vetiver hedge containment in terms of labour whilst VGT also provide beneficial side effects like erosion control and water storage in subsoil.
Benefits also extend to productivity in the ragi cultivation by rising it 15 to 50 % and safeguarding the first critical moment of post emergence, and producing a very effective and useful barrier against weeds competing for moisture and nourishment with crops.
Gopalkrishanan also tells that vetiver in India is considered untouchable and that the indian government requested information to the chinese rail authority about the plants' application to railsides, reimporting then the technology and applying it to Konkan Railways, even though it was first born right there in India...