Sugarcane is an important crop for Dehradun as it gives good remuneration to farmers. Approximately 900 to 1000 hectare area is under sugarcane crop in Dehradun and is still witnessing increase due to attractive returns. However, income from sugarcane crop can be increased manifold by adopting intercrop system. Studies carried out by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Dhakrani showed that most of the farmers are either not growing or growing only those intercrops which are least profitable.
After intensive research, scientists at KVK proposed urd pulse as inter crop with sugarcane. They organized four field demonstrations in one hectare area for this intercrop system. These field demonstrations yielded encouraging results. Scientists extended their scope and chose 163 hectare of 227 farmers for extensive inter cropping and equipped farmers with advance knowledge of farming. With the financial help of ATMA project, 20 quintal urd seed, 7 quintal bio fertilizer symbian and 30 kg trichoderma were provided to them. Pant Urd-35, an improved variety developed by GB Pant University of Agriculture & Technology was used for this demonstration.
Major technological interventions adopted in the intercrop system included treatment of seeds with trichoderma @of 5 gm/kg seed; control of podborer in urd crop through spray of endosulphan @ 2 ml/liter water and proper use of bio-fertilizer in the soil. Intercrop was given first irrigation after 30 days of urd sowing before flowering and second, third irrigation and were given at 10 day intervals.
Average 4.70 quintal/ hectare of urd was produced during this demonstration. Highest productivity was realized by a farmer Hardwari Lal of Pratitpura village which was 5.70 quintal/hectare. Total income was 10,750 per hectare and income-expenditure ratio was 1:4.07. Farmers came out with 3.60 to 5.70 quintal/hectare production and Rs 5,500 to 10,750/ hectare income.
This is the first step towards income enhancement of local farmers. Now farmers are leading the way towards prosperity. They can not only generate more income but can also ensure food and nutritional security for their family. According to some farmers the productivity of sugarcane also enhanced with intercrop system.
(NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA with inputs from GBPUA&T, Pantnagar)