The manager of the farm from which this case study is taken was given a booklet on vetiver grass produced by the world bank. His objective was to teach himself to improve his conservation system. Already he had a number of conservation strategies including terracing, minimum tillage, mulching and strip cropping, but he felt there was a need to better his system. Through self-teaching he gave himself an opportunity to do so.
There had been some vetiver plants on the farm for 40 years and the vetiver visibly held the soil in place where it grew. These plants had grown into huge clumps comprising multiple tiller or slips. The practical handbook disseminated very widely throughout erosion-prone countries by the world bank, demonstrated how vetiver could be dug up, split and planted to form a continuous barrier hedge for soil and water conservation .
The approach therefore comprised taking ideas from a book testing those ideas and seeing how they worked in practice. The approach has developed further by the farmer spreading his message to neighbours, some of whom have copied the system after visiting his farm and seeing the results for themselves. While the original handbook had been aimed especially at Indian farmers, sub-sequent to the successful experience of this particular farmer, a locally focussed handbook has been recently prepared in English and ´Zulu by the South African Vetiver Network.
For more details consult page number 149 of the referral link
Where the Land is Greener