Reaping benefits of multiple crop method

By Times Of India on 19 Apr 2018 | read
TRICHY: N Saravanan, a farmer from Melapatti in Karur district has been reaping the benefits of good and regular yield by adopting multiple crop method for the last 15 years.
The 39-year-old has been cultivating paddy, black gram, vegetables, jasmine flowers and banana in his nine acre ancestral agriculture land by adopting both organic and conventional methods.

“I have raised ‘Uchchi’ flower (Ixora Red flower) in two acres of land along with chillies, while brinjal and ladies finger along with the banana plantation,” Saravanan says.

His father worked with railways, after retiring from military service and his brothers work abroad. Being the elder son, Saravanan has been looking after their ancestral land. Experience in the field of cultivation has made him experiment many things including multiple and mixed crop method to benefit his family as well as the agriculture land, he stated.

“We usually complete paddy harvesting before March. As the reaping time for flowers starts from April and end in the month of June, the revenue earned from flowers would help me to meet family expenses during the summer. As there is no specific season for vegetables, we can harvest veggies throughout the year. It is useful for our kitchen,” he further said.

Fellow farmers had encouraged him to take up multiple and mixed crop method as it would help to maintain soil fertility, minimise input cost as compared to individual crop, reducing pest and disease attack and it also helps to control weed.

“By adopting multiple crop patterns, fertile lands are not left idle at any time of the year. It also increases crop production. Cultivating two or more crops in the same land at the same time in a year will not only be beneficial for soil, but will also benefit farmers,” he opined.

As many progressive farmers, Saravanan too has adopted organic ways to reduce pests and fertilisation. He uses ‘Panchakavyam’, a ginger, chilli and neem oil solution as pesticide and green manure plant as urea.

“The green manure plant is fast-growing one, which is grown to cover bare soil. Its foliage smothers weeds and their roots prevent soil erosion. When dug into the ground while still green, they return valuable nutrients to the soil and improve soil structure. It acts as urea,” he further said.

He is ready to adopt a 100 per cent organic method to cultivate crops. But, Saravanan needs the help of the agriculture department to teach him how. He says that organic method of pesticide and fertilisation does not always work. “If the agriculture department guides us, it would be helpful for farmers like me to execute everything in a proper way,” he opined.