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How Intercropping Has Increased the Income of This Farmer

Venkatrao is cultivating Bengal gram in a 10:1 ratio with the mustard crop. This allows him to supplement his income from the mustard crop.

Shivam Dwivedi
AEO Santosh interacting with Farmer- Venkat Rao
AEO Santosh interacting with Farmer- Venkat Rao

Intercropping is the practice of growing two or more crops on the same plot of land at the same time. The main advantage of intercropping is that it allows you to get more yield from the same plot of land that would otherwise go unutilized by a single crop. This intercropping technique has greatly aided Venkat Rao.

Story of Venkat Rao

This method worked well for a farmer named Venkat Rao of Kangti Mandal's Chapta B village. He was using the Intercropping system, as recommended by AEO Santosh.

Venkatrao is cultivating Bengal gram in a 10:1 ratio with a mustard crop. This allows him to supplement his income from the mustard crop. According to Santosh, Venkat Rao is now earning an extra Rs 6000 per year as a result of this intercropping practice.

The cost of cultivation for the mustard crop is very low; only 100-gram seed is required during sowing, which is enough to spend on the Mustard crop.

100grm seed mixed with 2 kgs sand to keep the plant population going. This treated seed was spread throughout the Bengal gram sown field.

More about Intercropping:

  • Intercropping needs careful planning wherein the soil, water, climate, light, etc are taken into account. While planning inter-cropping it is important to select the crops which do not compete with each other for space, nutrients, water, or sunlight.

  • It is advisable to grow crops like shallow-rooted crops with deep-rooted crops, tall crops with a short plant, shade-loving plants with light-requiring plants, early-maturing crops with late-maturing crops, etc.  Such planning will ensure the added yield advantage for the farmers from multiple crops.

  • Inter-cropping also helps in providing mutual benefits to the crops. For example, growing legumes along with cereals, vegetables will fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil and thereby improving the nitrogen uptake to the adjoining plants.

Major Benefits of Intercropping:

  • Increasing crop production rates with the added benefit of lowering the risk of total crop loss

  • Fields' diversity and stability

  • Reduced use of chemicals and fertilizers

  • A mutually beneficial exchange of plant resources, such as nitrogen from nitrogen-fixing plants

  • Weed control and reduced susceptibility to insects and disease

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