Vetiver grass plantation achieves stellar success
Kolkata: The plantation of Vetiver grass to prevent soil erosion, an initiative taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has achieved great success with Nadia district administration planting the grass along the banks of six rivers, covering an area of 210 km in 2017-18.
Banerjee has named the project Sabujayan. In 2018-19, steps have been taken to plant Vetiver along the river bank, covering another 120 km. The grass will be planted along river banks, covering a total area of 743 km in Nadia. The six rivers that flow through the district are Ichamati, Churni, Mathabhanga, Jalangi, Bhagirathi and Padma.
Taking cue from the success of Sabujayan in Nadia, several other districts have started planting Vetiver to prevent soil erosion along river banks. These districts are East Midnapore, East Burdwan, Hooghly, Cooch Behar, Murshidabad, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar.
Vetiver grass is primarily available in Tamil Nadu. To curtail the cost of bringing Vetiver saplings from there, 76 nurseries have been set up in Nadia. Experts from Tamil Nadu and US had visited the nurseries and expressed their satisfaction over their functioning.
The district administration in Nadia has set up six handicraft centres, two each in Nakashipara, Tehatta and Ranaghat, where several items for room decoration, curtains etc. are being manufactured from Vetiver. The room decoration items in particular, are in high demand. Vetiver grass is now being planted along the banks of waterbodies to stop soil erosion. It is also used to purify water. It also helps stop erosion of soil along roads. The farmers are given training about how they should be planted and maintained.
"The plantation of the grass to prevent soil erosion, both along river banks and roads, has been highly effective. Also, home decoration items made from Vetiver have helped the artisans to earn money," said a senior official.