MIXED CROPPING SYSTEMS
J B Palipane
Department of Export Agriculture
Kandyan forest gardens are typical examples of perennial mixed cropping
systems in Sri Lanka. However due to the nonsystematic cropping of these
units the Delpitiya Mixed Cropping Model (DELMIX) was developed and planted
in 1978 on eroded tea land. Yield data of DELMIX indicate that yields
of all the crops increased with the time. Cost versus income of DELMIX
confirmed that it is profitable. Therefore DELMIX has proved to be economically
viable. Evaluation of submodels selected from DELMIX indicate that plant
height and canopy width of crops were similar in all submodels but varied
in crop yields. Some of the farmers adopted part of the model very satisfactorily,which
shows the farmers have an interest on the submodels of DELMIX.
A modified DELMIX pepper and coffee (catimor) model at different spacings
with Acacia mangium as a wind belt was planted in 1986 at Nillambe. Yield
data of these models indicate that the maximum yield per plant and maximum
yield per unit area (kg/ha) of both coffee and pepper was obtained in
the model of coffee in 1.5m x 3m and pepper in 3 x 3m.
In the DELMIX no paticular soil conservation measures were adopted. Moreover,
the slope of land used for DELMIX was not excessive. Currently available
lands for mixed cropping has a steeper slope than that at the DELMIX site.
Therefore studies on mixed cropping with the less costly conservation
method of Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) is in progress at
Delptitya with good results.
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.