Vetiver grass system or Vetiver grass technology [Philippines]

Mora, Moras, Amora and Modas in the different regions in the Philippines

technologies_1423 - Philippines

Completeness: 76%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Vetiver grass used as contour hedgerows in sloping agricultural land used for annual crops.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Vetiver grass is easy to propagate and establish as hedgerow. It is adopted to a wide range of soil and climatic condition. When planted correctly, vetiver grass will form a dense permanent hedge in one year. It has a strong root system that penetrates and binds the soil. Vetiver grass is perennial and requires minimal maintenance. It will not spread to the alleys since it does not multiply by rhizomes nor from seeds. Compare with other grass, it does not compete much with the crops it is protecting. Vetiver crown is below the ground surface which helps protect the plant against fire and overgrazing. Its leaves and roots are resistannt to insects and diseases. Vetiver can withstand, drought, flood and long period of water logging.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:


Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, specify area covered (in km2):



Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 0.8 km2.
The technology was first used to stabilize/strengthen rice paddy dikes/levees. In the project, the technology is used by small upland farmers to control soil erosion by water.

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • more than 50 years ago (traditional)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

As an SWC, the technology is supported and promoted by the World Bank through the Vetiver Network involving several Asian countries.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied



  • Annual cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • cereals - maize
  • legumes and pulses - other
  • vetiver
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2

Longest growing period in days: 110, Longest growing period from month to month: Apr - Dec


Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Annual cropping of corn and othrer crops in hillyland using plow which makes the soil vulnerable to erosion.
Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Declining productivity and increasing input (fertilizer) to maintain yield.
Type of cropping system and major crops comments: Two crops of corn with legumes. However, not all farmers practice two croppings

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • cross-slope measure

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

vegetative measures

vegetative measures

  • V2: Grasses and perennial herbaceous plants

Type of vegetative measures: aligned: -contour

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying
chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • prevent land degradation
  • reduce land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate
Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate
Main technical functions: control of dispersed runoff: retain / trap, reduction of slope length
Secondary technical functions: control of concentrated runoff: retain / trap

Aligned: -contour
Vegetative material: G : grass
Number of plants per (ha): 10-12 till
Vertical interval between rows / strips / blocks (m): 3
Spacing between rows / strips / blocks (m): 6
Vertical interval within rows / strips / blocks (m): 0.15

Grass species: Vetiver
Slope (which determines the spacing indicated above): 18.00%
If the original slope has changed as a result of the Technology, the slope today is (see figure below): 8.00%
Gradient along the rows / strips: 3.00%

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):


If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:


4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. Planting vetiver grass along the contour Before planting of corn
2. Replacement/replanting of gaps land preparation

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour labour ha 1.0 50.0 50.0 100.0
Plant material seedlings ha 1.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 150.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 3.0

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. pruning land preparation /once

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour labour ha 1.0 20.0 20.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 20.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 0.4

Distance of grass strips, distance of planting within strips and frequency of maintenance (trimming).

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Labor is the most important factor (establishing contour, land preparation and planting). Planting materials can be asked for free from other farmers.

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Agro-climatic zone
  • humid

Thermal climate class: tropics

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • low (<1%)

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial)
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • poor
  • average
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • animal traction
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Population density: 50-100 persons/km2
Annual population growth: 2% - 3%
30% of the land users are rich and own 10% of the land.
20% of the land users are average wealthy and own 50% of the land.
50% of the land users are poor and own 40% of the land.
Off-farm income specification: Trading, carpentry, hired labour, overseas employment

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • individual, not titled
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production


land management

Comments/ specify:

hedgerow restricted mobility

Income and costs


Comments/ specify:

during establishment/maintenance

Socio-cultural impacts

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

Comments/ specify:

strong awareness

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

surface runoff

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:



soil moisture

Comments/ specify:

better infiltration

soil loss

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Comments/ specify:

almost nil erosion

Other ecological impacts

Soil fertility

Comments/ specify:

increase organic matter

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream siltation

Comments/ specify:

almost zero erosion

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:


How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 0-10%

2% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support
5% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support
50 land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support
There is a moderate trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology. Farmers have recognized the benefit of the technology. Even the Local Government Units (LGU's) are supportive of the technology and have adapted it as one of their banner programs.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Easy to establish and maintain
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Easy to establish and maintain
Vetiver grows well even in fertile soil

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Prevents easier mobility within the farm Proper farm design
Sanctuary for pests Cleanliness, rat eradication, etc.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Prevents easier mobility within the farm Appropriate farm lay-out
Vetiver grass can serve as sanctuary for pests (rats, snakes, etc) Cleanliness

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users
When were the data compiled (in the field)?


7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Vetiver for Soil Erosion Control

Available from where? Costs?

Vetiver Network Philippines, Farm and Resource Management Institute, VISCA, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Vetiver Grass the Hedge Against Erosion

Available from where? Costs?

World Bank, Washington D.C., USA

Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all