Intercropping with plantation in uplands


This blog is to describe an initiative to promote a new land use for vast chunks of uplands in order to restore degraded lands and create robust livelihoods for small and marginal farmers in Agro-Ecological Zone VII (one of the 15 Agro-Ecological Zones in India) (Figure 1). At the core, the initiative is built around plantations of certain permanent tree species that serve as the hosts for Tasar[1] silkworm. This case captures an attempt of PRADAN, an Indian NGO, working in the most underdeveloped regions in India, to integrate intercropping with plantations through a number of field trials. The objective was to validate a set of assumptions that intercropping practices could trigger vigorous growth in tree plantations in the degraded lands, thereby overcoming the chronic problems of tree stunting due to nutrition and moisture stress. Robust plantations of Tasar host trees could help in enhancing economic returns to the farmers from silkworm rearing, thereby making this land use a viable proposition.

Source: The Water Channel