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close this bookSoil and Water Conservation (SWC) Technologies and Agroforestry Systems (IIRR, 1992, 171 p.)
View the documentMessage
View the documentWorkshop to revise
View the documentList of participants
View the documentCurrent program thrusts in Upland development
View the documentDegradation of the uplands
View the documentNutrient cycles in upland farms
View the documentEstablishing an swcsystem
View the documentFarm management practices that reinforce SWC
View the documentTraditional soil and water conservation (SWC) technologies
Open this folder and view contentsOptions for contour farming:
View the documentLand management practices for improved water conservation
View the documentIn-row tillage
View the documentMaking an A-frame
View the documentControlling Cogon and Talahib
View the documentUse of derris as botanical pesticide
View the documentFire control in the uplands
View the documentCultural management of pest infestation
Open this folder and view contentsOrganic fertilizer sources:
View the documentBiofertilizers
View the documentSelection of cover crops
View the documentBatao in the upland. Cropping system
View the documentIncreasing the woody contents in leaf litter
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of indigenous agroforestry systems:

Use of derris as botanical pesticide


Derris elliptica, commonly known as Tubli, Tibanglan, Tiba-lau, Malasiag, Bauit or Tugleng Pula, is a bushy leguminous vine usually found growing near river banks or streams. The dark-green compound leaves usually have 9-13 sword-shaped to oblong leaflets with pronounced pointed tips.

The roots of Tubli contain rotenoids, a highly potent insecticidal chemical which is widely used for the control of a variety of insect pests in the home, on domestic animals and on the field. It is also widely used as fish killer. On field crops, it has a short (3-5 days) residual toxicity and the residues are non-toxic to man.


Twist the roots of Tubli plants and observe the amount of milky sap that oozes out. Get stem cuttings only from whose roots contain a lot of sap since potency has been associated with sap content.


Tubli is easily propagated using 10-30 cm mature brown stem cuttings with 1-3 nodes and at least 5 mm in diameter. Plant the cuttings in sand or well drained top soil, either in plastic bags or in mist beds.

When rooted directly in plastic bags, place them in shaded locations and spray with water at least 3 times a day. Fitly to sixty percent of the cuttings will root successfully. The plants will be ready for transplanting in 34 months.

Rooting can be increased to almost 100 percent if the cuttings are allowed to root for at least 45 days in mist beds prior to bagging.


Tubli grows best when grown in unshaded areas. It is planted from 0.3-1.0 m apart, either in between perennial crop rows as a cover crop or as part of a contoured vegetative terrace. Plant at the start of the rainy season.


Tubli is a relatively slow grower and will need frequent during the first year. Irrigation improves plant growth. Though it is N-fixer, it will benefit from the application of 50 and 100 9 14-14-14 during the first and second years, respectively.


Tubli roots can be harvested 4 months from transplanting although the highest root yield per plant is attained at 1.5-2 years from planting. Early harvesting is suggested in areas with deep soils to forestall the development of deep roots which are difficult to harvest.


Tubli roots can be dried, powdered, then mixed with clay (kaolinite) at a ratio of 1:4. The mixture can be dusted directly on plants stored in sealed, black plastic bags for future use.

For spraying, freshly harvested roots are crushed finely and suspended in water at the rate of 40 9 fresh roots per 20 l water. Spray Derris extract only after 5 p.m. to maximize toxic effects. The solution can be used as shampoo for animals to eliminate fleas and ticks.

For the elimination of trash fish, a jute bag containing about 1 kg of crushed root is immersed in the pond.

Note: The above rates are tentative and should be adjusted depending on the original toxicity of the roots and the type of pest.