Intercropping turns lucrative for farmer

Intercropping turns lucrative for farmer

Success story

Intercropping turns lucrative for farmer

At a time when farmers are turning their back on agriculture for various reasons, a young man has successfully experimented intercropping of okra, tomato and garden beans (avarekai) with sugarcane and is reaping profits.

Kiran has also created a record in not sowing sugarcane for the past 19 years. He has reaped the crop for the past 18 years but from the original sowing, which was done in 1993. He has been intercropping for the past two years.

Most of the farmers are shunning agriculture, citing shortage of affordable labour, scarcity of water and rising price of fertilisers and pesticides. So, Kiran stopped annual sowing of sugarcane, which demands extensive labour — starting from clearing old crop, levelling and ploughing up to deweeding and nurturing.

Every new crop has less resistance, so the expenses on pesticides also goes up.

Kiran has experimented intercropping in just one acre of land, but the okra crop — ready for harvesting — and is already expected to bring in an income of Rs 30,000. He has grown 1389 breed of tomato and Hebbal-4 garden beans.

They are also showing signs of good yield and are expected to fetch Rs 35,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively in a few weeks.

Kiran, who has grown 4,000 tomato saplings and sowed 5.5 kg okra and one kg garden beans seeds, does not provide any fertilisers or manure to the sugarcane crop. He says a mixture of fertilisers and manure provided for the vegetable plants itself was sufficient for sugarcane also.

Talking about sugarcane yield, he said he got 61 tonnes last year and expects the same yield this year too.

Kiran says agriculture is definitely profitable. “Only thing is farmers should be open to experiments. They should understand the soil, water availability, etc and go for proper, high-yielding varieties.

They should pay attention from time to time and care for the crop,” he said.