Type : Other Article
Rajula Shanthy T, Patil Komal Subhash and Jitendra Kumar Chauhan
Every year, due to increase in cost of cultivation, the monetary returns to cane growers decrease significantly. To increase the returns per unit area, growers are advised to take up intercropping in the early stages of crop growth by selecting suitable intercrops. Sugarcane being a long duration crop, it takes 90-120 days for canopy development, during which intercrops can be grown. However, large scale adoption of intercropping in sugarcane is still a reservation and the present study was undertaken in Kolhapur district, Maharashtra, India. Most of the respondents had maize (40%) and groundnut (11.67%) as choice of intercrops as compared to other crops mainly for high remuneration. Correlation analysis indicated that the independent variables viz., occupational status, size of land holding, experience in sugarcane cultivation, farm implement possession, mass media exposure and social participation showed positive significant relation with adoption of intercropping. Farmers with more than a decade experience in sugarcane farming were widely prevalent in the sample and they tried to improve cane productivity by following the latest technologies. The respondent growers were found to adopt varied intercrops best suited to their area. Any intercrop that can be harvested within 90-100 days can be successfully grown in sugarcane. Every respondent who had grown an intercrop with sugarcane had realized an advantage and the advantages as perceived by the farmers in their order of importance include interim income within three months, incorporation of stubbles of intercrops improve soil health, less growth of weeds, fodder availability for livestock, increase in yield, reduction in weed infestation, reduction in cost of cultivation and availability of produce for home use. Intercropping is being promoted in sugarcane cropping system as a means of getting an interim income to the farmers and with wider row spacing the technology is gaining momentum among cane growers.
Keyword: Sugarcane, Intercropping, Advantages, Constraints