Know how multi-layer farming can be a boon for small farmers
In multi-layer farming, crops growing at the same rate are cultivated in the form of a multi-layered building.
80 percent of the farmers of the country belong to the small and marginal category, whose average holding size is 1.1 hectares. Due to smallholdings, it is very difficult for these farmers to make farming profitable. Because most of these farmers still cultivate traditional seasonal crops. Due to natural calamities like heavy rains, floods, and storms, farmers of this section have to suffer the most. But if these same farmers adopt multi-layer farming in an advanced way with understanding, then they can get a chance to keep earning income throughout the year. It can also be called a multi-crop farming system or multi-crop farming system.
What is Multi-Layer Farming?
The simple principle of multi-layer or multi-crop farming is – full use of the fertility of the land. In this way, many crops are grown simultaneously in the same field, so that the power of the soil can be fully exploited and a good income can be obtained from less land. The multi-stage farming system is characterized by the simultaneous sowing of different crops in the same season. In this, crops of different height levels are planted by making scaffolding on the ground. It is a great technology to achieve maximum yield with maximum efficiency of limited land and resources, hence it has the potential to transform the lives of small farmers.
How to do multi-layer farming?
According to experts from the Department of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition, Sambalpur University, in multi-layer farming, crops growing at the same speed are grown like a multi-layered building. In this, many types of crops get nutrition from the same land. In this, the first level crops growing underground and at low altitudes like ginger, potato, tomato, onion, chili, brinjal, gourd, kundru, etc. are sown. They hold the soil together.
In multi-layer farming, green leafy crops like spinach, fenugreek, coriander leaves, etc. are selected for the second level, as their growth covers the land completely in 15-20 days. This reduces the weeds that damage the crops.
When the time for harvesting comes, instead of plucking the leaves of leafy crops, they uproot them along with the roots. This makes the soil loose and friable. It also improves the health of the soil. By doing this, oxygen and sunlight also reach the bottom of the soil. This benefits the underground crops. On the other hand, if the above crops are not uprooted and removed, then they can become a hindrance to the growth of the lower crops.
Building a shed or scaffolding is necessary
Multi-layer farming cannot be done in open fields. For this, a shed or scaffolding has to be made. It is made from bamboo and thatch. It protects the crop from adverse weather. Scaffolding acts like expensive polish. It is weatherproof and biodegradable. The sun and the shade of the scaffold create such a balanced environment which slows down the process of evaporation of moisture in the field. This reduces the cost of irrigation by up to 90 percent and makes farming attractive and effective due to increased water use.
The third-tier crops are supported by scaffolding. For this stage, green vegetables with vines like bhaji, Galka, gourd, kumhra (pumpkin), etc. are very suitable. At the fourth level, crops like papaya are cultivated. It is placed at a regular distance in different parts of the scaffold. For the fifth level crops, a mesh or wire is placed on top of the scaffold, so that small and green leafy vegetables like kundru, bitter gourd, etc. can be spread there.
Cost of scaffolding
It costs from 50 thousand to one lakh rupees per acre to build a scaffold. But the scaffold once built serves multi-layered crops for at least five years. The raw material for making scaffolding is available at a very low cost in rural areas. The seeds of crops sown in multi-layer farming are local. These crops are adapted to withstand the flexibility of the weather, hence they give long yields.
In multi-layer farming, the damage to the crops by insects is less. Due to scaffolding, the crop is not easily attacked by diseases. If there are more pests, yellow or blue colored boards are coated with jaggery or mustard oil and applied in the middle of the crop. Due to this the insects and moths coming there stick to the board and die. This method has been found to be very effective and useful for preventing insects in a small space. Scaffolding also reduces the risk of spoiling the entire crop at once.
Benefits of multi-layer forming
Multi-layer farming ensures all-season yield, income, and employment for multiple crops. It gives maximum productivity even on limited land. This reduces the risk of damage to the yield. This yields simultaneous vertical (tall, medium, and short), horizontal and underground (deep-rooted plants and shallow-rooted plants) crops. This helps in weed control.
Multi-layer farming reduces the impact of hazards like excessive rainfall, soil erosion, and landslides. It makes effective use of varying depths of soil moisture. This is a great way to make proper use of all the natural resources. That is why it enjoys the status of efficient farming. With this, a good price can be found by producing the crop according to the demand of the market.
Environmental balance benefits from a multilevel farming system. If beekeeping is also added to this system, it becomes easier to get more income from the crop. Because bees make pollination better. Biological diversity also benefits from multi-layer farming.
Crops suitable for multi-layer farming
Sugarcane-potato-onion, sugarcane-mustard-potato, brinjal-okra-poi, spinach-radish-onion, maize-gram-peanut, mango-papaya-pomegranate, coconut-banana-pomegranate, coconut-banana-coffee, peanut- Tomato-chilli, carrot-red vegetable-tomato and radish-coriander-chilli etc.
Contact details: If farmers want to share information or experiences related to farming with us, then they can do this by calling us on the phone number 9599273766 or by writing an email to [email protected] or by sending your recording. Through Kisan of India, we will convey your message to the people, because we believe that if the farmers are advanced then the country is happy.