Intercropping in mangocatching up in State

Farmers cultivating brinjal and tomato as intercrop in mango orchards.  

Mango intercropping with various fruits and vegetables has been gaining momentum in the State as the growers are ‘getting significant returns.’

The farmers cultivated mango in 37,178 hectares in the State.

Intercropping with vegetables and fruits has been found more beneficial to the growers as it could boost total crop production per unit area.

According to information, the farmers have taken up cultivation of vegetables such as groundnut, tomato, brinjal, chillies, cucurbits, and fruit like guava, muskmelon and pineapple.

The mango farmers, who have been solely dependent on mango orchards for the last few years, are facing hardship in the wake of the adverse impact of seasonal variations.

The farmers attracted to mango-based integrated cropping systems as they enable better utilisation of natural resources. It also improves soil fertility due to the continuous biomass addition by the subsidiary crops, say officials say.

Following suggestions from the Horticulture Department, the farmers have cultivated summer vegetables like brinjal and tomatoes.

Also, cultivation of fruits as intercrop was found to be ‘lucrative.’ The Chittoor district tops in the State with as much as 12,345 hectares under intercropping in mango. The other Rayalaseema districts -- Anantapur and Kadapa follow it with 5,689 and 2,895 hectares respectively. Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts too witnessed similar trend with 3,159 and 2,654 hectares under intercropping respectively. And, Guntur district is at bottom of the pyramid with mere 526 hectares. The total extent of mango cultivation in the State stands at 3.85 lakh hectares.

When contacted, Horticulture Commissioner Chiranjiv Choudhary says that the systematic intercropping of crops, vegetables and fruit help increase mango yield compared to sole-cropping.

Increase in income

It helps the farmers in increasing the income from mango holdings. Intercropping has been suggested to the farmers as a way to increase their income, and they are convinced.

An interesting fact is that the farmers across all the districts are switching over to intercropping in mango. From Srikakulam to Nellore, the mango farmers are cultivating some vegetable or fruit. “The trend of intercropping in mango is catching up,” he says.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 11:57:44 PM |

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