Land care

posted Aug 17, 2014, 6:53 AM by Vetiver Kenya

Check this post: about landcare.


posted May 13, 2014, 3:09 AM by Vetiver Kenya

Linear shower irrigation: the new low-pressure technology

posted Sep 3, 2013, 10:05 AM by Vetiver Kenya   [ updated Apr 24, 2014, 6:02 AM ]

This is a kind of overhead drip system. The technology has been researched by key agricultural institutes such as Kenya Agricultural Institute (KARI),
and it poved to be more efficient and cost effective when compared to conventional furrow, sprinkler and drip irrigation systems.
We provide and set -up this low pressure shower irrigation systems for farmers practising or want to start irrigation farming.
This new irrigation technology can be a significant tool in empowering many farmers as well as those ones struggling in Arid and semi arid Lands (ASALS).
Please do. e-mail or call us (0721997242) to organise a more detailed presentation.
Samuel Gitau
Technical and Marketing Dept

DripGrow easy-to-use irrigation to small plot farmers

posted Apr 16, 2012, 12:18 AM by Vetiver Kenya

Affordable, easy-to-use drip irrigation to small plot farmers. The benefits to small farmers and to local environments are too great to be ignored, and as water becomes ever scarcer, improved irrigation techniques will be critical to continue to ensure sufficient food supplies for the developing world.

DripGrow is a social business – its goal is to provide drip irrigation customized to the needs of small-scale farmers in a sustainable manner. Our drip irrigation is affordable, dependable and easy to install, use and maintain. While there are low-cost drip irrigations solutions in the market, they believe that their laser-produced drip irrigation is among the best.

Artificial wetlands

posted May 19, 2011, 1:41 AM by Vetiver Kenya   [ updated Jun 19, 2013, 3:22 AM ]

Vetiver System in Kenya - lessons learned worldwide

posted May 19, 2011, 12:43 AM by Vetiver Kenya   [ updated Jun 19, 2013, 3:24 AM ]

Worldwide, TVNI has gathered lessons learned, including misconceptions about Vetiver System, failures in applications. TVNI analysed this, gathering lessons in three groups, as conditions for success, summarised in KLEI (dutch for clay):
Knowledge:    i) understanding land degradation, hydrology, how to conserve water, soil moisture and soils;
                      ii) know-how on measures to retard water flow on farm land, steep slopes, drains, water bodies;
                          adjusting these measures to local conditions, and locally available materials;
                     iii) understanding plant physiology and how this can improve water quality, to treat waste water;
                     iv) know-how on artificial wetland system design;
                      v) knowing effective methods of promoting and upscaling innovations.
Leadership:    i) mobilising different stakeholders for a common cause;
                      ii) promoting innovation, in practice and policies: leading decision makers and contractors.

Economic Incentives:     Demonstrating, visualising, quantifying the benefits, seeking win-win situations.

Now these lessons apply to Kenya's experience with Vetiver System:

1. Most often, there is the misunderstanding of how Vetiver System works, on-farm: the misunderstanding includes not just farmers (often are not correctly advised on how the hedge works, or how to use Vetiver for fodder) but also crops officers, KARI experts on soil conservation, NEMA project officers concerned about catchment protection. Main misconceptions:
a. "Vetiver is to solve the problem of 'fanya juu', it is just another grass that should be used to plant on top of the contour banks" (to address their problem of being instable, requiring more maintenance, and having an inherent risk of breaking). Our advise: do not waste your Vetiver planting material on a method like 'fanya juu' that is itself a risky method, and also more costly, using more space, and being less effective in conserving soil moisture (apart from the problems it can cause once the runoff is diverted off farm, into drainage 'systems' that are not designed for this accumulated water).
b. "Vetiver is a useless fodder" (said farmers to KARI soil scientist).
What we learned: the farmers - planting it on 'fanya juu' - compared Vetiver to Napier grass and also managed it in the same way. They were not told that Vetiver is only good fodder when young (green) - it cannot make hay (indigestible).
Vetiver is planted in the first place as the most effective method to reduce water runoff and soil loss, the green fodder is a useful by-product.
c. "Bio-engineering with Vetiver System is simple": what we learned is that when planting on riverbanks several people first got it wrong (spacing too wide, survival rate too low, planting material probably not adequate), before they got it right. This is where PLUS-Kenya must play a role, following up, making sure that the technology is not only 'understood' but also applied correctly.


It requires inspired leaders to consider and adopt Vetiver System. This happens in many countries, and to some extent in Kenya, for example now in Nairobi Water & Sewerage Company, as a first large-scale adopter of Vetiver System to treat the sewage in Dandora and elsewhere (at least, that is currently the plan, we read May 2011).
Yet, in other sectors it is more difficult:
a. KERRA (through MoA) did allow some minimal training on Vetiver System for SWC on roads, and acknowledged that the small pilot demonstration is successfull; however, since then nothing is heard about its adoption.
It is a sign of progress that nearly 20% of the booklet on the training (SWC for roads) presents Vetiver System, but with such minimal training and without any reference to TVNI or more experienced practitioners in Kenya, the lack of knowledge (networking) is rather a risk.
b. There are many more examples, where Vetiver System was presented, discussed, welcomed, applauded, raised as a technology to be adopted, after which nothing happened. Slide presentations alone will not do the job: leadership is required.

Economic Incentives
The (early) adopters do see the economic incentives. This explains the progress (however slowly) that Vetiver System makes in Kenya. As one indicator, those with nurseries increasingly make money selling the planting material! Currently it is sold for about 6 Ksh/slip... There is a shortage, notwithstanding the fact that since 2007 many more Vetiver nurseries have established in Kenya.

Fish ponds: protecting the banks

posted May 19, 2011, 12:41 AM by Vetiver Kenya

Fish ponds are usually found in flood prone areas. As floods can damage the ponds, the protection of pond banks is important. Paul Kombo is a pioneer in this, as shown in his report (attached). In there you find pictures of fish pond protection with Vetiver System.

Wind power - RIWIK

posted May 15, 2011, 10:17 PM by Vetiver Kenya

Rural Investment Windpower in Kenya has set up camp - please see their website:

New in Kenya: bio-engineering for roads

posted Sep 21, 2010, 12:51 AM by Vetiver Kenya   [ updated Oct 16, 2014, 4:49 AM ]

Kenya at a crossroads - Vetiver System now features in the Ministry of Roads manual for slope stabilization, drainage and gully rehab. Elise Pinners of Green Cycle Consulting (GCC) provided a modest introduction on Vetiver System for bio-engineering in the KERRA Training of Trainers, with a brief practical exercise in Kisii in April.

In May a full week's course was provided in Addis by the Ethiopian Roads Authority.

And now a full page about our demonstration on Nairobi Southern Bypass (in 'Programme & projects')!!!

Other extreme slope works in Kenya, see  GCC.

Vetiver System slideshow

posted Sep 20, 2010, 10:12 PM by Vetiver Kenya   [ updated Sep 21, 2010, 3:41 AM ]

Vetiver System slideshow

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