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The Lessons and Results from 30 Years of Dissemination of Vetiver Grass Technology, and the Vetiver Network

February 23 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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A presentation by the Agriculture and Rural Development Thematic Group

“It can take a generation or more to introduce a technical innovation…can social media shorten that? The story & lessons from almost 30 years of development/dissemination of Vetiver Grass Technology, a tool for climate change adaptation and community resilience.”


Dick Grimshaw – His career began in 1963 as an agricultural extension worker and soil surveyor/land use/soil conservation planner in Zambia. This was followed by 6 years with World Bank’s Agricultural Development Service, working in southern and eastern Africa. From 1972 to 1994, Dick was an agriculturist in the Bank, working in West Africa, India, and China amongst others. Over that time he was the Bank’s Agriculture Division Chief in both Nigeria (and covering other west African countries) and India, and subsequently, Division Chief for the Asia Technical Agricultural Department (ASTAG). While in India, he recognized the potential for of Vetiver Grass, which was used there traditionally, not only for the for the aromatic oils extracted from its roots, but also by for soil and moisture conservation, as a fodder grass, and for field boundary demarcation. From then on he was closely involved with the early promotion of Vetiver Grass Technology in India, from 1982 to1987, and afterwards in the Bank’s watershed management portfolio in Asia, and globally. On retiring from the Bank in 1994, he founded The Vetiver Network International (TVNI), which continues today.

Jim Smyle –  worked for 18 years in the World Bank, beginning in 1988 for Dick Grimshaw, in ASTAG, as a Watershed Management Specialist. He retired from the Bank in 2006 as a Sr. Natural Resources Management Specialist, and has continued to work as an independent consultant in natural resources, rural development, climate change, and social issues for World Bank, IFAD, and Asian Development Bank, amongst others. Over the entire time he has been active in working with Dick and TVNI on the promotion and dissemination of Vetiver Grass Technology.

Background information on VGT may be found on TVNI’s website

Moderator: Kevin Cleaver – Chair, ARD TG

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February 23
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm




The 1818 Society Agriculture and Rural Development TG