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Portcoast hosted the seminar on “Utilization of vetiver grass for river bank and embankment protection”

On the morning of January 5th 2012, the seminar on “Utilization of Vetiver Grass for River Bank and Embankment Protection” was held by Portcoast Consultant Corporation at Portcoast’s office. Attending and reporting at the meeting were Prof. Nguyễn Viết Trương, Director, The Vetiver Network International (TVNI), responsible for Asia and Pacific Region, Dr. Trần Tấn Văn, Director of the Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources (VIGMR) and the Leader of the Vetiver Network in Vietnam (VNVN), Mr. Shantanoo Bhattacharyya, Coordinator of the Eastern India Vetiver Network, representatives of SBTV Construction & Advanced Technology Ltd. Company, and other local and international experts.

The reports presented at the seminar show that vetiver grass is one of grass categories which can be used most effectively in soil erosion control. Apart from the reporting about applications of vetiver grass on embankment protection, river bank erosion control, and the development of Vetiver Network in Vietnam today, the theme was discussed very seriously and freely. With many big projects related to embankment protection that have been carried out by Portcoast, and the focus of Portcoast’s leaders on finding advanced technical, economical and environmentally friendly solutions to protect the embankments, the utilization of vetiver grass which has been considered as “miraculous grass” has attracted much attention of the technical staff to attend the seminar.

Although vetiver grass has been brought to Vietnam since 1999 it has been widely known up till now. Vetiver is clumping perennial grass, just a minimal care it rapidly forms a dense hedge which is tolerant of prolonged drought, flood or submergence. Due to good features such as the plant has a strong and massive root system, which is vertical in nature descending 3-4, stems are stiff and erect, not sprawling, growing well on varieties of soil; vetiver roots are highly efficient in absorbing dissolved nutrients such as nitrogen and protein, highly tolerant to growing medium high in acidity, and not compete for moisture, nutrients in soil of surrounding agricultural crops; besides the roots has fragrant oil which is not adapted to the taste of the rodents, etc. For those reasons, the scientists believe that planting vetiver grass are suitable for creating a “vegetative concrete barrier” to prevent erosion on the slopes of the highway or railroad, or along the new embankments, ponds or water reservoirs due to some unique effects such as decreasing the flow velocity, preventing soil from being washed away, and vetiver does not have any adverse side effects to humans up to now.

The seminar helped to clarify a lot of inquiries about vetiver grass. Due to the low cost, simple to apply and environmentally friendly, hopefully that vetiver grass will be further studied to use as an effective solution to protect river banks.



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