When two or more crops are grown simultaneously in the same field, this is called intercropping. According to the topography, soil profile and prevailing agroclimatic conditions in an area, Jatropha can be combined with other suitable species comprising the agricultural, horticultural, herbs, pastoral and/or silvicultural components to result in an ecologically viable, economically profitable and socially acceptable agroforestry system.
By evolving, promoting and adopting Jatropha based intercropping systems it is possible to improve the socioeconomic conditions in rural areas and to transform the National energy scenario and the ecological landscape.
Social & economic advantages of multiple cropping systems:
- Dependence on only crop is avoided.
- Less needs to import energy.
- Reduction in the outlay for fertilizers.
- There is much greater flexibility of the distribution of labor.
- Possible to recover investments in much less time.
- Availability of harvest over a much longer period of time.
- Can occupy much more labor.
- The farmer of little economic resources can produce a large variety of useful products.
- Promote a return to the land.
- Components can constitute a type of “savings” for the future.
GLE has tried; applied and developed some inter cropping systems for both wastelands and cultivable lands as outlined below:
Model (I) Hedgerows of Jatropha with Glyricidia and Subabul
Model (ii) Jatropha intercropped with grasses, tubers and vegetables
Model (iii) Jatropha mixed with fruit trees
Model (iv) Jatropha in mixed plantation with Teak / Neem / Karanj / Subabul
FOR CULTIVABLE LANDS
On irrigated farmlands
Model (i) mixed with one or more of the following species, grown at the spacing indicated against each species:-
Gmelina arborea (Gamhar) 8mX8m, Dalbergia sissoo (Sheesham) 5m X 4m, Azadirachta indica (Neem) 7m X 5m, Tectona grandis(Teak) 4m X 4m, Emblica officinalis (Aonla) 5m X 3m, Eucalyptus camaldulensis 3.5m X 2m and Moringa oleifera (Munga) 3m X 3m
Model (ii) intercropping vegetables such as red and green peppers, tomatoes water melon etc. that would provide additional income for the farmers.
Model (iii) intercropping with important medicinal plants
For this purpose Jatropha Curcas is the ideal plant to give shade to shade plants and provide a base for the climbers.
Selection of the climber is done according to the climatic condition of the regions. Mainly, the following climbers are common for every/region:
- Kounch – Mucuna prurita
- Kalihari – Gloriosa superba
- Pippali – Piper longum
- Karela – Momordica charantia
Selection of shade crops:
- Sweth musli – Chlorophytum boriviliamum
- Sarpagandha – Rauwolfia serprntina
- Haridra – Curcuma longa
- Adrak – Zingiber officinales
- Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera
Model (iv) Jatropha can be intercropped with medicinal plants like Asparagus racemosus (Shatawar) and Commiphora mukul(Gugul)
Model (v) Shankhpushpi are effective in promoting the growth of Jatropha Curcas Intercropping
Model (vi) Patchouli and coleus are suitable and successful intercrop
In Madagascar, the plant is used as a support for vanilla
On drier farm lands
Interplanting of Jatropha can will work with Mulberry Combined with the petro plant – Jatropha, Ber and Lac constitute a profitable planting model.
- AGAVE SISALANA (FOR ROPE FIBER +PROTECTION)
- EUPHORBIA SP. (FOR PROTECTION)
- ERYTHRINA INDICA (FOR PLANT-BASED DYE +PROTECTION)
- IPOMOEA SP. (FOR BOUNDARY)
- PROSOPIS JULIFLORA ( FOR PROTECTION +FUELWOOD + CHARCOAL)
- GLYRICIDIA (FOR BOUNDARY + GLYRICIDIA AS NITROGEN FIXING FODDER SPECIES)