Integated Farming in Jharkhand

MULTILAYER FARMING: A WAY OF DOUBLING FARM INCOME

In India, over 70 % of rural household depends on agriculture sector, it contributes about 17 % to the total GDP of our country. But, in current situation, the rate of increasing farmer’s suicides in day by day is black spots on government of India. Due to lack of agriculture technologies, lack of knowledge to how evaluate the agriculture practices, marginal scattered land, water scarcity and some other reasons farmers are getting less production and unsatisfied income. To overcome these problems and get more production per unit area in very lower farming cost, here a new term is introducing as Multilayer farming.

Introduction:

Multilayer farming is modern integrated farming system in which four to five different crops are cultivated in same crop-field in a specific time. In this technique, farmers come up with multilayer seed sowing in which different vegetable and fruit crops are being sown in deep, middle, top, top most layers of soil, according to their respective root zone, simultaneously in single crop field. In multilayer farming, the cost of cultivation is 4 times lower, whereas the benefit is eight times higher than other farming system. If we take many crop together in a single crop field in same time, then one crop gets nutrients from other crops and due to lack of free space, the weed does not come out. in multilayer farming process, the amount of fertilizer and water for cultivating four crops is as much as the cultivation of one crop. Due to different layers (pavilion) in crop field, there is no outbreak of pest in the crop field and it prevent water loss through evaporation.

Principle:

Multilayer farming is also an integrated farming which depends on the principle of total utilization of water, manure and land and to get more production per unit area. This farming technique require less cost of cultivation whereas the provide much more benefit compare to other farming system. In multilayer farming, four or five crops can have cultivated in as much as amount of fertilizer and water required for one crop, which leads the farmer’s income.

Brief Description:

As we discussed above, there are four to five types of crop is cultivated in single crop field in this system. The crop used in this farming system depends on the sequence of sowing, root zone and harvesting time of crops. Farmers sown Turmeric, Ginger, Colocasia like crop which having deep root zone (about 20- 25 cm soil depth) as soul crop in month of January. The Colocasia take 60-70 days to germinate. until the sown crop (i.e. Colocasia) germinated above the soil, farmers started cultivating short durational crop in top most layer (about 5-10 cm soil depth) like green leafy vegetables (Coriander, Spinach, Bhaji etc.) as second crop in field.

These crops are act as mulching on the surface of soil. It prevents water evaporation from soil and also control weed. These top layer crops are harvested within 25-30 days. During harvesting with it loose the upper surface of soil and help in aeration. Since Colocasia is late germinating crop and its crop cycle is 6-7 months, so farmers made further experiments in the crop fields. As third crop, they made vertical space in the soil for sowing potato or sweet potato simultaneously above the Colocasia in middle layer of soil (about 10-15 cm Soil depth). It emerges above the ground just after harvesting of green leafy vegetable. It weeded twice and finally harvested in May Month. Farmers also makes pavilion on the top of crop field by the help bamboo, steel wires and grasses to cultivate creeper crops like Ivy gourd, pointed gourd or bitter gourd as upper most layer crop. The pavilion structure of creeper plants helps to reduce transpiration loss from crop field, which save 70 % of water in farming. It also protects the bottom layer crops from sunlight, heavy rainfall and outbreak of insect. While the cultivation of four to five crop in same field, we need to apply very large amount of FYM in soil at end of December before sowing.

Benefits:

• Lower cost of farming.
• More production, more Income per unit area.
• Minimalize the risk of crop loss.
• Proper utilization of soil, water and other resources.
• Reduces the weather effect on crop field.
• Improve the soil characteristics.
• Maintain ecological balance in the environment.
• Prevent water evaporation from the soil, as a result 70% water is saved.
• Reduces the pest and diseases, and weed does not come out.

Conclusion:

Majority of farmers of this country are small and marginal. Most of farmers cultivate seasonal crop with traditional agriculture practice. It is an innovation to evaluate the agriculture practices. It is big scope behind the farmer to earn more income. Small and marginal farmers can earn much more income by cultivating in small piece of land by using this technique. Multilayer farming opens a new door for farmer to earn whole round the year and low risk to loss or failure of crop. So, it is necessary to introduce the farmer with multilayer farming system to improve our farmer’s condition.

Kumar Subham

Gramin Bharti


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