Field Day on Conservation Horticulture In Mango Orchards.
Under NICRA programme of IIHR, a field day was held in ICAR-IIHR on 26th September 2018 to showcase the technology of “conservation horticulture in mango orchards”. The field day showcased three different systems of conservation horticulture viz., complete rainfed system, Protective irrigation system and integrated farming system. Conservation horticulture in Rainfed system demonstrated successful cultivation of several intercrops, mixed crops and cover crops. It has demonstrated that farmers can successfully grow pigeonpea, sweet corn and sweet potato. Similarly if the sowing is done on receiving first monsoon rains, two crops like mung bean followed by niger or French bean followed by cow pea or horse gram can be successfully grown in mango orchards without affecting mango yield. Under protective irrigation it has been demonstrated that farmers having provision of protective irrigation can successfully grow even cash crops like vegetables, flower crops like chrysanthemum and other crops which can fetch good money. Even farmers can go for inter cropping with papaya and banana in wide spaced(10m X 10m) mango orchards. Under integrated farming system it has been demonstrated that it is possible to harvest rainwater water in mango orchards in all places where annual rainfall is above 600 to 700 mm. and can use this harvested rainwater to grow crops like fodder, sweet corn, ragi, drumstick, and such other crops of farmers choice which can earn money to farmers besides improving soil health, and improving the yields of main crop mango. Dr.RH.Laxman, Principal Investigator, NICRA briefed the farmers of the National NICRA programme. Dr.AN Ganeshamurthy explained the main principles of conservation horticulture viz., crop residue recycling, zero/minimum tillage, contour trenches to collect rain water, organic mulching, inter crop, mixed crops and cover crops. Dr.BL.Manjunath showed the farmers the utility and feasibility of rainwater harvesting inside mango orchards and explained the ways to develop integrated farming systems. Dr.Mudalgiriyappa, Chief Scientist Dryfarmin explained the farmers about the ways to grow successful crops in dryland areas using all available dryfarming technologies. Chief guest of the function Dr. MR.Dinesh, Director ICAR-IIHR in his presidential address told farmers that such several technologies are regularly demonstrated in IIHR on regular basis and told farmers to avail this facility to visit IIHR and interact with experts for getting the benefits. About 200 mango farmers from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat took part in this field day and visited the demonstration fields and interacted with the scientists of NICRA team.