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SANF GREENMENS PVT LTD- Intercropping Offers Greater Financial Returns For A Farmer

Farmers are facing a lot of challenges in their day to day life. The condition of the farmer in India is deplorable. Farmer suicides are becoming a common occurrence in India. Our country is capable of producing three crops in a year still suicide cases are very common in farmers due to reasons aplenty, including high rainfall, drought, low market value (a financial problem), pest, and disease outbreak. Other challenges that farmers face include seeds not germinating due to bad quality, some of the other diseases in cattle, livestock, etc., random power cuts at the time of irrigation, and many other problems that farmers face just for producing a crop which gives him very low returns and he will be satisfied only when he can reduce the hunger of his family and people.

Agriculture contributes to nearly one-third of India's GDP and provides a livelihood for the major Indian population (it is the primary source of livelihood for about 58% of India’s population). What’s more, India is among the top 15 exporters of agricultural products in the world. The Indian food and grocery market is the world’s sixth-largest. The Indian food processing industry accounts for 32 percent of the country's total food market, one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export, and expected growth. With such great figures in place, one would expect agriculture would be given top priority and would, therefore, be doing quite well in most places in India, but only if it were true.

It’s high time the government started giving agriculture the same importance as industries. Proper care needs to be taken, or words like "small farmer" will become history. Actually, the agriculture sector is plagued by not a few problems, but many. It’s best to then not focus on how to solve all the problems, rather shift the focus on ways to ameliorate the condition of our farmers, then we will be able to protect many lives which will give us the growth as well as development in the agriculture sector. We should start by working towards empowering our farmers and improving their condition, then we can consider issues that affect farmers more as well as their production, and gradually will move on to the biggest issues.

“Saving farmer is not just saving lives, it means saving Agriculture, our tradition and thereby saving many Indian lives.”

SANF GREENMENS PVT LTD has always been a flag-bearer of natural farming methods, which we feel will solve most of the issues faced by small and marginal farmers, and there’d be a drastic improvement in their way of being. We’d also like to emphasize an alternate source of income for farmers. He should get enough exposure to go for other Agri-based business or leverage the allied sectors of agriculture such as cattle farming, goat and sheep rearing, fish farming, mushroom cultivation, and many farm business, and practice intercropping, which will give him a source of (year-round) income that can help to improve his livelihood.

Intercropping:

Intercropping (growing two or more crop types at the same time and on the same land) is quite common around the world that offers greater yield and greater financial returns for a farmer, it is the insurance that farmers need, especially when the region is vulnerable to weather extremes, intercropping makes the most of the available soil, extremely good for primary crops with secondary crops providing shelter and even protecting the primary crops. You can actually grow cash crops or any crop that’ll actually supplement the primary crop in some way.

Intercropping in Melia Dubia plantation:

Near about every kind of fruit and vegetable can be grown as an intercrop in Melia Dubia plantation, starting from ash gourd, eggplant, drumstick, ginger, papaya, turmeric, to mango, coconut, sugarcane, red gram, pomegranate, marigold. It is the best host, you can grow any crop in the Melia Dubia project as an intercrop, it helps other crops by increasing nitrogen content in the soil, secretes carbon, helps other roots in getting water, air, thus leading to the rapid growth of the plant.

Melia Dubia or Malabar Neem is a perennial crop (long duration) and grows very tall in a short time. You can go for any gram crops or pulses, or legume crops as an intercrop during the first year of planting, with vegetables being the best bet. After 3-4 years when canopy enlarges, you can go for any shade-loving trees or can do herbs farming in the Melia Dubia project as an intercrop. Melia Dubia and sandalwood are usually considered the best combination.

Let’s move to the marketing and sales aspect:

Drumstick Farming- It is a vegetable plant grown for its edible tender pods, leaves, and flowers that are nutrient-rich (in carotene, vitamin C, phosphorous, and minerals such as potassium, chlorine, and magnesium in every 100 grams). The drumstick tree is a softwood tree native to India. Drumstick plants can stand firm against drought conditions for up to six months and need minimum irrigation for proper growth.

Talking about yield in drumstick farming, you can procure two fresh leave harvests in a year depending upon the variety of the tree you’ve planted and farming practices. Again, depending on tree varieties, trees can give two fresh pods harvest twice a year. Under good cultivation, you can yield 18-20 tonnes of pods per acre per year and 25-32 tonnes of fresh leaves per acre in a year.

Economics in Drumstick Farming

  1. Establishing cost per acre for pod production- Rs 54725 (seed purchase, land preparation for farming, manure, and fertilizer, irrigation charges, labor costs, etc.)
  2. Establishing cost per acre for green/leaf production- Rs 64000.
  3. Income on Drumstick Farming- Pods (16.5 t/year @ Rs 25 per kg) - Rs 412500; Fresh Greens (31 t/year @ Rs 25 per kg) – Rs 775000; Dry Leaves- (3 t/year @ Rs 95) – Rs 285000.
  4. Profit on Drumstick Farming- Pods per year- Rs 357775; Fresh Greens per year- Rs 711000, and Dry Leaves per year- Rs 221000.

Leaf production might offer more profit over pod production. The market rate for tender pods and fresh greens is Rs 12 kg respectively.

Marigold Cultivation- Marigold is one of the most popular and important commercially grown loose flower crops in India that is used as a loose flower or to make garlands, which are of huge demand in religious and social functions. In India, Marigold cultivation is profitable farming with minimal investment and care.

Marigold flower production per acre in India usually is 4-6 tonnes of flowers per acre land, but the yield varies with type and variety. For example, Giant African yellow when planted in September can provide 10 tonnes of flowers per acre. You can obtain around 100-150 flowers from one marigold plant. The average yield of Marigold is about 18 tonnes/ha. The cost of Marigold flowers per kg will be Rs 60-100/kilogram (approx), depending upon the season, quality, and variety of Marigolds.

Pomegranate Farming- Pomegranate is a deciduous shrub, its fruit is expected to be highly nutritive and has amazing benefits on human health, such as improves heart health with regular consumption, helps treat joint pains and arthritis, helps in fighting breast cancer and prostate cancer, helps regulate blood pressure, can help the body fight bacterial and fungal infections, improves memory and fights Alzheimer’s disease, and enhances blood flow to better perform the exercise.

The plants bear fruit after 4-5 years of planting and take nearly 120-130 days for the first harvest.

Let’s now discuss the minimum requirements to start a pomegranate farm in 1 acre of land.

  • One acre of land can accommodate 200 plants.
  • Cost of one plant- Rs 15-30 (depending on the variety).
  • Cost of one kg of Farm Yard Manure – Rs 2.50.
  • Cost of one kg of Urea- Rs 6.00.
  • Cost of one kg of superphosphate- Rs 9.00.
  • Cost of one kg of muriate of potash- Rs 25-35.
  • Cost of one kg micronutrients- Rs 150-260.

The land yields 4 tonnes (1 ton= 907.185 kg) of fruit after 3 years, which you can sell @ Rs 70-100/kg- Rs 290240. You can earn a profit of Rs 29240 after subtracting the materials required for farming and labor (fertilizers, manure, insect and pest control, the arrangement of drip irrigation, fencing the land, electricity charges, equipment for farming, installation of the pipeline, etc.) (Rs 261000) from the cost of total yield (Rs 290240). Plus, there could be some income each year, say around 30000-50000 from the intercropped plants.

It is advisable that you do intercrop with Melia Dubia trees and SANF GREENMENS PVT LTD can help with that (with separate service charge). You can grow any vegetables, pulses, or millets in-between the columns and any fruits in-between the rows of the Melia Dubia trees. It is SANF GREENMENS PVT LTDwho’ll set up the infrastructure (borewell, fencing, drip irrigation system, etc. if you don’t have any), and prepare your field for Melia Dubia plantation alongside. Once we are done with the infrastructure, we’ll do the plantation, and after 30 days we’ll do replantation (if required).

# intercropping with Melia Dubia

# higher returns with intercropping

# pomegranate as an intercrop in Melia Dubia plantation

# drumstick as an intercrop in Melia Dubia plantation

# Marigold cultivation as an intercropping with Melia Dubia trees

 

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