Category Archives: Crop Integration


Vetiver Grass

Example-of-the-soil-wash-that-Vetiver-prevents 512x384Here is a good example of the soil wash that Vetiver grass is designed to prevent.
This photo was taken (May 23, 2012) at a farm in Kajulu two days after a very heavy
downfall. The farmer has recently planted a Vetiver nursery so that he will have grass
to protect his soil in the future. The Vetiver nursery should have spread to produce enough
slips for planting a hedge across the land by the beginning of the short rains in September.





Vetiver Grass holds back soil. This photo is taken in the REAP garden in Kajulu. In the last 18 months
this hedge has been collecting soil behind it which otherwise would be lost to the streams and ultimately
the lake. The land on the right is now about 2 feet higher than that on the left!




Using VetiverUsing-Vetiver-grass-round-a-fish-pond 512x384 grass round a fish pond. The brother of Pastor Simon, who is assisting us in promoting
Vetiver planting in Kajulu, is active in promoting fish ponds in the area. He has included
planting vetiver to reinforce the ponds into his own teaching.


Integration of Natural Medicines with Food Crops in the Home Garden

In REAP (Rural Extension with Africa’s Poor) we have been working for many years with small farmers on low input sustainable agriculture. The strategy we have taken is that in order to be relevant for the rural poor, teaching should be based on what people can do for themselves rather than purchased inputs. This, therefore, links very naturally with our belief in the environmental soundness of low external input agriculture and enables a two-pronged approach towards the same end. Most of our teaching is based on replacing purchased inputs with productive knowledge-based family labour for more efficient production. This strategy is also based on the value of productive subsistence, in which farm families benefit from producing quality food for home consumption. One of the main strategies of subsistence production at any level is variety, which both reduces risk and increases the quality of life through what is consumed. We have recently come to learn that productive subsistence relates to much more than just food production and that a mixed farm can satisfy so many more of the family’s needs.
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