Mixed and multi-storeyed cropping in an areca (Areca catechu L.) plantation in India. (236)
Keywords:Arecanut, Areca catechu L., Crop intensity index, Mixed cropping
AbstractA field trial on arecanut-based mixed and multi-storeyed cropping systems was carried out from 1994 to 1996 as a randomized block design with 10 treatments replicated thrice, to compare monoculture of arecanut over crop diversification and to evaluate the extent of crop intensification. The cropping system which included cocoa as component crop, recorded higher yields of arecanut, indicating a beneficial effect of cocoa when grown in association with arecanut. There were significant differences for mean yields of arecanut, with the highest yield in the cropping system consisting of arecanut + pepper + cardamom (3.07 kg chali palm-1) followed by the system consisting of arecanut + pepper + cocoa ( 3.05 kg chali palm-1) and the lowest was recorded by arecanut when grown with banana as the associated crop (2.59 kg chali palm-1). Yield of arecanut under sole cropping was 2.90 kg chali palm-1. The highest Crop Intensity Index (Oil) value was recorded for the cropping system involving black pepper and cocoa (CII of 2.62). Contribution of black pepper to the total CII was the highest (CII: of 1.00) as all the areca palms served as live support for trailing pepper vines. The next higher value of CII was contributed by cocoa (CII of 0.62) followed by cardamom (CII of 0.54) and the lowest was from banana (CII: of 0.15) due to its reduced population when compared to its cultivation as sole crop.