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Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion (1993)

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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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How to Order BOSTID Reports

BOSTID manages programs with developing countries on behalf of the U.S. National Research Council. Reports published by BOSTID are sponsored in most instances by the U.S. Agency for International Development. They are intended for distribution to readers in developing countries who are affiliated with governmental, educational, or research institutions, and who have professional interest in the subject areas treated by the reports.

BOSTID books are available from selected international distributors. For more efficient and expedient service, please place your order with your local distributor. Requestors from areas not yet represented by a distributor should send their orders directly to BOSTID at the above address.

Energy

33. Alcohol Fuels: Options for Developing Countries. 1983, 128 pp. Examines the potential for the production and utilization of alcohol fuels in developing countries. Includes information on various tropical crops and their conversion to alcohols through both traditional and novel processes. ISBN 0-309-04160-0.

36. Producer Gas: Another Fuel for Motor Transport. 1983, 112 pp. During World War II Europe and Asia used wood, charcoal, and coal to fuel over a million gasoline and diesel vehicles. However, the technology has since been virtually forgotten. This report reviews producer gas and its modern potential. ISBN 0-309-04161-9.

56. The Diffusion of Biomass Energy Technologies in Developing Countries. 1984, 120 pp. Examines economic, cultural, and political factors that affect the introduction of biomass-based energy technologies in developing countries. It includes information on the opportunities for these technologies as well as conclusions and recommendations for their application. ISBN 0-309-04253-4.

Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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Technology Options

14. More Water for Arid Lands: Promising Technologies and Research Opportunities. 1974, 153 pp. Outlines little-known but promising technologies to supply and conserve water in arid areas. ISBN 0-309-04151-1.

21. Making Aquatic Weeds Useful: Some Perspectives for Developing Countries. 1976, 175 pp. Describes ways to exploit aquatic weeds for grazing and by harvesting and processing for use as compost, animal feed, pulp, paper, and fuel. Also describes utilization for sewage and industrial wastewater. ISBN 0-309-04153-X.

34. Priorities in Biotechnology Research for International Development: Proceedings of a Workshop. 1982, 261 pp. Report of a workshop organized to examine opportunities for biotechnology research in six areas: 1) vaccines, 2) animal production, 3) monoclonal antibodies, 4) energy, 5) biological nitrogen fixation, and 6) plant cell and tissue culture. ISBN 0-309-04256-9.

61. Fisheries Technologies for Developing Countries. 1987, 167 pp. Identifies newer technologies in boat building, fishing gear and methods, coastal mariculture, artificial reefs and fish aggregating devices, and processing and preservation of the catch. The emphasis is on practices suitable for artisanal fisheries. ISBN 0-309-04260-7.

73. Applications of Biotechnology to Traditional Fermented Foods. 1992, 207 pp. Microbial fermentations have been used to produce or preserve foods and beverages for thousands of years. New techniques in biotechnology allow better understanding of these transformations so that safer, more nutritious products can be obtained. This report examines new developments in traditional fermented foods. ISBN 0-309-04685-8.

Plants

47. Amaranth: Modern Prospects for an Ancient Crop. 1983, 81 pp. Before the time of Cortez, grain amaranths were staple foods of the Aztec and Inca. Today this nutritious food has a bright future. The report discusses vegetable amaranths also. ISBN 0-309-04171-6.

53. Jojoba: New Crop for Arid Lands. 1985, 102 pp. In the last 10 years, the domestication of jojoba, a little-known North American desert shrub, has been all but completed. This report describes the plant and its promise to provide a unique vegetable oil and many likely industrial uses. ISBN 0-309-04251-8.

Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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63. Quality-Protein Maize. 1988, 130 pp. Identifies the promise of a nutritious new form of the planet's third largest food crop. Includes chapters on the importance of maize, malnutrition and protein quality, experiences with quality-protein maize (QPM), QPM's potential uses in feed and food, nutritional qualities, genetics, research needs, and limitations. ISBN 0-309-04262-3.

64. Triticale: A Promising Addition to the World's Cereal Grains. 1988, 105 pp. Outlines the recent transformation of triticale, a hybrid between wheat and rye, into a food crop with much potential for many marginal lands. The report discusses triticale's history, nutritional quality, breeding, agronomy, food and feed uses, research needs, and limitations. ISBN 0-309-04263-1.

67. Lost Crops of the Incas. 1989, 415 pp. The Andes is one of the seven major centers of plant domestication but the world is largely unfamiliar with its native food crops. When the Conquistadores brought the potato to Europe, they ignored the other domesticated Andean crops—fruits, legumes, tubers, and grains that had been cultivated for centuries by the Incas. This book focuses on 30 of the "forgotten" Incan crops that show promise not only for the Andes but for warmtemperate, subtropical, and upland tropical regions in many parts of the world. ISBN 0-309-04264-X.

70. Saline Agriculture: Salt-Tolerant Plants for Developing Countries. 1989, 150 pp. The purpose of this report is to create greater awareness of salt-tolerant plants and the special needs they may fill in developing countries. Examples of the production of food, fodder, fuel, and other products are included. Salt-tolerant plants can use land and water unsuitable for conventional crops and can harness saline resources that are generally neglected or considered as impediments to, rather than opportunities for, development. ISBN 0-309-04266-6.

74. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. 1993, 182 pp. Vetiver is a little-known grass that seems to offer a practical solution for controlling soil loss. Hedges of this deeply rooted species catch and hold back sediments. The stiff foliage acts as a filter that also slows runoff and keeps moisture on site, allowing crops to thrive when neighboring ones are desiccated. In numerous tropical locations, vetiver hedges have restrained erodible soils for decades and the grass—which is pantropical—has shown little evidence of weediness. ISBN 0-309-04269-0.

Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
×

Innovations in Tropical Forestry

35. Sowing Forests from the Air. 1981, 64 pp. Describes experiences with establishing forests by sowing tree seed from aircraft. Suggests testing and development of the techniques for possible use where forest destruction now outpaces reforestation. ISBN 0-309-04257-7.

41. Mangium and Other Fast-Growing Acacias for the Humid Tropics. 1983, 63 pp. Highlights 10 acacia species that are native to the tropical rain forest of Australasia. That they could become valuable forestry resources elsewhere is suggested by the exceptional performance of Acacia mangium in Malaysia. ISBN 0-309-04165-1.

42. Calliandra: A Versatile Small Tree for the Humid Tropics. 1983, 56 pp. This Latin American shrub is being widely planted by villagers and government agencies in Indonesia to provide firewood, prevent erosion, provide honey, and feed livestock. ISBN 0-309-04166-X.

43. Casuarinas: Nitrogen-Fixing Trees for Adverse Sites. 1983, 118 pp. These robust, nitrogen-fixing, Australasian trees could become valuable resources for planting on harsh eroding land to provide fuel and other products. Eighteen species for tropical lowlands and highlands, temperate zones, and semiarid regions are highlighted. ISBN 0-309-04167-8.

52. Leucaena: Promising Forage and Tree Crop for the Tropics. 1984 (2nd edition), 100 pp. Describes a multipurpose tree crop of potential value for much of the humid lowland tropics. Leucaena is one of the fastest growing and most useful trees for the tropics. ISBN 0-309-04250-X.

71. Neem: A Tree for Solving Global Problems. 1992, 151 pp. The neem tree is potentially one of the most valuable of all trees. It shows promise for pest control, reforestation, and improving human health. Safe and effective pesticides can be produced from seeds. Neem can grow in arid and humid tropics and is a fast-growing source of fuelwood. ISBN 0-309-04686-6.

Managing Tropical Animal Resources

32. The Water Buffalo: New Prospects for an Underutilized Animal. 1981, 188 pp. The water buffalo is performing notably well in recent trials in such unexpected places as the United States, Australia, and Brazil. Report discusses the animal's promise, particularly emphasizing its potential for use outside Asia. ISBN 0-309-04159-7.

Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
×

44. Butterfly Farming in Papua New Guinea. 1983, 36 pp. Indigenous butterflies are being reared in Papua New Guinea villages in a formal government program that both provides a cash income in remote rural areas and contributes to the conservation of wildlife and tropical forests. ISBN 0-309-04168-6.

45. Crocodiles as a Resource for the Tropics. 1983, 60 pp. In most parts of the tropics, crocodilian populations are being decimated, but programs in Papua New Guinea and a few other countries demonstrate that, with care, the animals can be raised for profit while protecting the wild populations. ISBN 0-309-04169-4.

46. Little-Known Asian Animals with a Promising Economic Future. 1983, 133 pp. Describes banteng, madura, mithan, yak, kouprey, babirusa, javan warty pig, and other obscure but possibly globally useful wild and domesticated animals that are indigenous to Asia. ISBN 0-309-04170-8.

68. Microlivestock: Little-Known Small Animals with a Promising Economic Future. 1990, 449 pp. Discusses the promise of small breeds and species of livestock for Third World villages. Identifies more than 40 species, including miniature breeds of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs; eight types of poultry; rabbits; guinea pigs and other rodents; dwarf deer and antelope; iguanas; and bees. ISBN 0-309-04265-8.

Health

49. Opportunities for the Control of Dracunculiasis. 1983, 65 pp. Dracunculiasis is a parasitic disease that temporarily disables many people in remote, rural areas in Africa, India, and the Middle East. Contains the findings and recommendations of distinguished scientists who were brought together to discuss dracunculiasis as an international health problem. ISBN 0-309-04172-4.

55. Manpower Needs and Career Opportunities in the Field Aspects of Vector Biology. 1983, 53 pp. Recommends ways to develop and train the manpower necessary to ensure that experts will be available in the future to understand the complex ecological relationships of vectors with human hosts and pathogens that cause such diseases as malaria, dengue fever, filariasis, and schistosomiasis. ISBN 0-309-04252-6.

60. U.S. Capacity to Address Tropical Infectious Diseases. 1987, 225 pp. Addresses U.S. manpower and institutional capabilities in both the

Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
×

public and private sectors to address tropical infectious disease problems. ISBN 0-309-04259-3.

Resource Management

50. Environmental Change in the West African Sahel. 1984, 96 pp. Identifies measures to help restore critical ecological processes and thereby increase sustainable production in dryland farming, irrigated agriculture, forestry and fuelwood, and animal husbandry. Provides baseline information for the formulation of environmentally sound projects. ISBN 0-309-04173-2.

51. Agroforestry in the West African Sahel. 1984, 86 pp. Provides development planners with information regarding traditional agroforestry systems—their relevance to the modern Sahel, their design, social and institutional considerations, problems encountered in the practice of agroforestry, and criteria for the selection of appropriate plant species to be used. ISBN 0-309-04174-0.

72. Conserving Biodiversity: A Research Agenda for Development Agencies. 1992, 127 pp. Reviews the threat of loss of biodiversity and its context within the development process and suggests an agenda for development agencies. ISBN 0-309-04683-1.

Forthcoming Books from BOSTID

Lost Crops of Africa: Volume 1, Grains. (1992) Many people predict that Africa in the near future will not be able to feed its projected population. What is being overlooked, however, is that Africa has more than 2,000 native food plants, almost none of which are receiving research or recognition. This book describes the potentials of finger millet, fonio, pearl millet, sorghum, tef, and other cereal grains with underexploited potential for Africa and the world.

Lost Crops of Africa: Volume 2, Cultivated Fruits. (1992) This report will detail the underexploited promise of about a dozen fruits that are native to Africa. Included will be such species as baobab, butter fruit, horned melon, marula, and watermelon.

Lost Crops of Africa: Volume 3, Wild Fruits. (1992) This study will highlight African native fruits that are promising candidates for domestication as well as for greater exploration in the wild. Included will be aizen, chocolate berries, gingerbread plums, monkey orange, raisin trees and more than 20 other species.

Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
×

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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
×

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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
×
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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
×
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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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Suggested Citation:"BOSTID Publications in Print." National Research Council. 1993. Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2077.
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Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line Against Erosion Get This Book
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For developing nations, soil erosion is among the most chronic environmental and economic burdens. Vast amounts of topsoil are washed or blown away from arable land only to accumulate in rivers, reservoirs, harbors, and estuaries, thereby creating a double disaster: a vital resource disappears from where it is desperately needed and is deposited where it is equally unwanted.

Despite much rhetoric and effort, little has been done to overcome this problem. Vetiver, a little-known tropical grass, offers one practical and inexpensive way to control erosion on a huge scale in both humid and semi-arid regions. Hedges of this deeply rooted species catch and hold back sediments while the stiff foliage acts as a filter that also slows runoff and keeps moisture on site.

This book assesses vetiver's promise and limitations and identifies places where this grass can be deployed without undue environmental risk.

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