The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) in Ranchi has asked farmers to take up fruit production system (FPS) between big trees like mango and jackfruit to raise their economy in the same size farmland.

“Mostly you see there is a space unused between big trees like mango, jack fruit and guava trees. So we are advising farmers to take up FPS and cultivate pineapples and some other fruits in between the big trees in their farmland,” Dr. Shivendra Kumar, Principal Scientist and Head of ICAR, Plandu in Ranchi, said.

Showing how the research centre has been successfully reaping the fruit harvest between mango trees in its huge campus, Dr. Kumar said ICAR has training programmes for farmers willing to take up FPS.

“There, you can see how pepper crop is being cultivated on mango trees here (Plandu),” Dr. Kumar said, pointing at the large number of creeper crop, growing in the same area.

“If farmers are willing to take up these methods, they can add to their income in the same farmer land they own,” he said while showing some other crops which could be taken up as two-crop or three-crop methods by the farmers.

The important factor, he added, is that the withered crops serve as nutrients to the big trees, saving the farmers’ money.

 

Comment:

Planting fruit crops among tree crops is nothing uncommon.Pine apple among young rubber
and coconut plantations is recommended by rubber board of india and coconut board for
additional income and economic use of space.In Sirsi (Karnataka) cardamom is cultivated
among coconut plantations.Black pepper trailed over silver oak tree is practiced by coffee
planters in Coorg.In fact maximum production of pepper in Karnataka is from such staked
pepper vines.Tree spices like cloves,allspice,cinnamon,garcenia,Kokkam and cinnamon are
also grown as intercross.With high density planting getting attention in mango,guava,jamun
and gooseberry,intercropping is not feasible.In fact in Israeli technology does not encourage
intercropping among fruit trees.Mechanization is difficult,management of inputs cumbersome
and above all mono cropped fruit orchards are more paying and returns per unit of
investment higher.There is optimum use of resources-water,nutrients,energy - there is
benefit of scale.