Alternatives to a rice (Oryza sativa L.)- wheat (Triticum aestivum L. emend. Fiori & Paol.) cropping system for enhanced productivity and profitability in the Indian sub-tropics. (136)
Keywords:Productivity potential, Economic returns, Production efficiency, Rice-based cropping systems.
AbstractThe dominant cropping system of rice-wheat (10.5 m hectares) is widely adopted by the farmers of Indo-Gangetic Plains Region of India, accounting for 25 and 40 percents of the total area under rice and wheat, respectively. The yield stagnation of both the crops is due to “monotony” of the system, over exhaustive nature of cereal-cereal crop sequence and exploitation of the natural resource base. High value and volume crops can effectively be included in the system, replacing wheat for sustainability and profitability of the system. Results showed that rice (Oryza sativa L.)- potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)- onion (Allium cepa L.) and rice-potato-japanese mint (Mentha arvensis L.) crop sequences being statistically at par with each other, produced significantly higher rice equivalent yield of 288.80 q ha-1 and 266.40 q ha-1, respectively than those obtained under rice-potato-green gram (Vigna radiata L.) (193 qha-1), rice-frenchbean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Japanese mint (173.5 qha-1), rice-mustard (Brassica compestris L.)- Japanese mint(167.4 qha-1), rice-lentil (Lens esculenta L.)-japanese mint (161.0 qha-1) and rice-wheat (Triticum aestivum L. emend. Fiori & Paol.)-japanese mint: farmers’ practice (142.0 q ha-1) crop sequences. The rice-potato-onion and rice-potato-japanese mint crop sequences are more productive, sustainable and economically viable, fetching greater net returns per unit area and time and can be a better option for farmers of the Central Plains Zone of India.