The Enugu State Government says it has concluded plans to train 120 farmers in the state on how to grow vetiver grasses to control erosion on their farmlands.
Mr Benjamin Onuze, Ag. Director, Technical Services, Enugu Ministry of Agriculture disclosed this in an interview on Monday in Enugu.
Onuze explained that a total of 20 farmers from each of the six agricultural zones in the state would be trained on the techniques involved in the planting of the grass.
According to him, the vetiver grass is a tall perennial grass which had been used in a variety of soil and water conservation applications.
“Many grasses and trees have been tried over the years as measures to prevent erosion in many farmlands; only vetiver grass has stood the test of time.
“Result has shown vetiver grass to be very successful in reducing flood velocity and limiting soil movement,” he said.
He noted that it had a strong fibrous root system that penetrated and bound the soil to a depth of up to three metres and could withstand the effects of tunneling and cracking.
Onuze explained that it would go a long way to protect crops from any form of destruction by erosion, thereby, increasing the quantity of produce.
“Vetiver grass is a climax plant, therefore, even when all surrounding plants have been destroyed by drought, flood, pests, disease, fire or other adversity, it will remain to protect the ground from the onslaught of the next rains.
“It is known to grow in areas with average annual rainfall and with temperatures ranging from 9°C to 45°C.
“The grass is planted as a hedge along the contour of the farmlands,” he said.
According to him, vetiver grass is a tropical plant, which can be sourced from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan.