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INTERCROPPING IN BANANA

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INTRODUCTION

 Bananas are mostly grown by small and


marginal farmers. With holdings less than a
hectare, they can hardly be expected to raise a
pure crop of banana.

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 At the earlier stages of growth, intercrops can be easily grown inn
banana plantation.

 Mixed cropping is also practiced in some parts of India.

 Paddy is also grown as mixed crop. Banana is grown as a shade


plant for coffee, cocoa, rubber, orange and young mango trees in
different parts of India.

 In west Bengal, vegetables like brinjal, radish, cauliflower,


cabbage, spinach, chilli, cucurbitaceous vegetables, basella, etc.,
and papaya are grown.

 Intercropping gives additional income to the grower.

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 Leguminous vegetables, tomato, beetroot and elephant foot
yam can be grown as intercrops in the early stages of crop
growth to increase the income.

 Growing cucurbitaceous vegetables such as ash gourd,


pumpkin, watermelon, cucumber, etc. should be avoided as
they also serve as alternate hosts for the infectious chlorosis
virus affecting banana.

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 Mixed cropping of banana,
arecanut, coconut is a
common practice along the
coastal belts of Tamilnadu.

 Banana is grown as a shade


plant for coffee, cocoa, rubber,
young mango trees and
orange in different parts of
India.

 Intercrops can easily be raised


in banana plantation at the
early stages of growth.

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 Radish, cauliflower, cabbage,
spinach, chilli, brinjal,
colocassia, yam, dioscorea,
lady's finger, basella,
cucurbitaceous vegetables,
marigold, tuberose are grown
as Intercrops.
 Mixed cropping with arecanut
and coconut is a common
practice in South India.
 Banana is grown as a
nursery crop to provide
shade for young plants of on
orchard.

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 Cassava/plantain combination is one of the most efficient
cropping systems.

 The total returns was highest in banana intercropped with bhendi


followed by cluster bean, lablab and the least in pure crop of
banana.

 Intercropping can easily be raised in banana plantation at the


early stages of growth.

 Vegetable and flower crops like radishes, cauliflower, cabbage,


spinach, chilli, brinjal, lady's finger, gourds, marigold, and
tuberose can be successfully grown as intercrop.

 Mixed cropping with arecanut coconut and cassava is a common


and widely adopted practice in South India.
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 Onion, soya bean or cowpea can be grown as intercrop in banana
by planting on raised bed which will give additional income.
 Growing intercrops like cowpea and soya bean also helps
suppress weed growth.
 Intercropping of bananas affected the hands per bunch, fingers per
bunch and finger weight significantly, but not the bunch weight.
 The associated growth of intercrops significantly reduced the girth
of the pseudostem at five months after planting and increased days
to shooting and days to harvesting of the bananas.
 Considering technical parameters banana should not have any
intercrop. However you can try vegetables like onion, sunhamp,
radish, French beans, carrot, and beet root for the first 3-4 months
that too not near the pits or inside the pits.

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 Legumes like beans and sun hemp may be a good option provided
you monitor the pest population on them.

 Aphids on these crops may act as alternate hosts and may transfer
the deadly viruses such as Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV) from
other infected banana plantations’ in the nearby area.

 As banana is a heavy feeder crop, you have to provide the fertilizers


as an additional dose to the intercrops.

 Legumes can fix atmospheric nitrogen so they have lesser


requirement of N from fertilizers.

 Intercrops can easily be grown in banana plantation at the earlier


stage of growth.

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 In some parts of India, mixed cropping is also practiced.

 Planting of banana may be followed by planting of intercrops like


brinjal, colocasia, turmeric, chillies, bhindi, radish, cauliflower,
cabbage, spinach, maize, etc. depending on climatic conditions.

 Mixed cropping of banana, arecanut, coconut is a common


practice along the coastal belts of tamilnadu.

 Paddy is also grown as mixed crop.

 Banana is grown as a shade plant for coffee, cocoa, rubber,


young mango trees and orange in different parts of India.

 Planting of banana may be followed by planting of intercrops like


brinjal, colocasia, yam, dioscorea, turmeric, chillies, okra, radish,
cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, maize, cassava depending on
climatic condition
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 The crops which attract nematodes soil borne diseases should be
avoided.

 Brinjal or cucurbits are not usually intercropped. Depending on the


soil and climatic condition crops like amaranthus, chillies, okra,
turmeric, yam, radish, cauliflower, cabbage and spinach are grown.

 Mixed cropping with arecanut and coconut is a common practice in


South India.

 Cassava/ plantain combination is one of the most efficient cropping


systems.

 In columbia, in about 60 percent of the banana plantations, coffee is


grown as an intercrop.

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