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Intercropping boosts smallholder tree crops – Validated RNRRS Output

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Focus Topic:
Land / Water / Resource Management
Type of Risk:
Biological & environmental
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk coping

This is one of 280 summaries describing key outputs from the projects run by DFID’s 10-year Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS) programmes.

Principally based on Projects R5058, R7002 and R7212.

New intercropping systems can double returns from small rubber plantations. Smallholders in Asia— often cultivating less than two acres—produce more than three-quarters of the world’s natural rubber. But, because young trees produce no rubber for the first 5-6 years, farmers plant bananas as an intercrop to tide them over. Farmers in Sri Lanka now plant a third more bananas than officially recommended and find they can make twice as much profit. Plus, the higher density of bananas stimulates growth in the young rubber trees. Intercropping has major potential for rural communities of rubber growers. And, although the system was proven on rubber and banana, it is also being applied to maize, upland rice and tea, and in India and Ghana.

The CD has the following information for this output: Description, Validation, Current Situation, Current Promotion, Impacts On Poverty, Environmental Impact. Attached PDF (17 pp.) taken from the CD.