How intercropping increased this farmer’s income

AEO Santosh interacts 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 otherwise would not be used by a single crop. This intercropping technique greatly helped Venkat Rao.

Story of Venkat Rao

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

Venkatrao grows bengal gram in a 10:1 ratio with a mustard crop. This allows him to supplement his income through the cultivation of mustard. According to Santosh, Venkat Rao now earns an additional 60,000 rupees a year from this intercropping practice.

The cost of growing mustard is very low; only 100 grams of seeds are needed when sowing, which is enough for growing mustard.

100 g of seeds mixed with 2 kg of sand to maintain the plant population. This treated seed was spread throughout the field sown with chickpeas.

Learn more about intercropping:

  • Intercropping requires careful planning in which soil, water, climate, light, etc. are taken into account. When planning intercropping, it is important to select crops that do not compete for space, nutrients, water or sunlight.

  • It is advisable to grow crops such as shallow root crops with deep root crops, tall crops with short plant, shade-loving plants with light-requiring plants, early maturing crops with late maturing crops, etc. Such planning will ensure the advantage of extra yield for farmers of several crops.

  • Intercropping also helps to provide mutual benefits to crops. For example, by growing legumes with cereals, the legumes will fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil and thereby enhance nitrogen uptake by nearby plants.

Main benefits of intercropping:

  • Increase crop production rates with the added benefit of reducing the risk of total crop loss

  • Domain 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 diseases