Banana intercropping

Dear Forum members,
          any suggestions on the intercropping with Banana plantations please.


Banana Main crop espaced at 2.5 M * 1.8 M = 900 Plants Tissue culture banana plants 11 Months duration but can be left to grow as ratoon for 2 more successive year .Here we can allow it to grow one more ratoon crop beside one main first crop …

Red lady papaya espaced at 2.5 M * 2.5 M = 640 numbers = 2 year duration

Brinjal Green long variety 4860 plants can be grown in paired row in over 1600 running meters in addition to Banana and papaya

Sesbania Grandiflora ( Agathi can be grown around the periphery as bund crop , upon which betal leaves can also be grown as vine …This will yield both greens as food and commercial betal vine of nearly 0.5  lac leaves

The Farm income from multi cropping ( can say also as intercropping here ) is as follows

Banana 900 trees * 30 Kgs average = 27 MT
Papaya  640 trees * 75 kgs average= 48 MT
Brinjal green long  4860 * 2 kgs        = 9.7 to 10 MT
Sesbania grandiflora 930 plants espaced at 0.3 M in between the plants gives 5 MT greens
Betal vines 0.5 lac  leaves

Income statement ( Farm gate price not market price )

Banana 27,000kgs @ Rs. 8  = Rs. 2.16 lac
Papaya 48,000 kgs @ Rs. 5 =  Rs. 1.2 Lac ( Because out of total income of 2.4 lac only one half is accounted for the first year  …so we leave next year income uncared for the present calculation )
Brinjal 9700 kgs @ Rs. 10  =  0.97 lac
Sesbania 5000 Kgs * Rs.2 = 0.10 lac
Betal vines 50,000            = 0.05 lac

4.48 lac rupees income per acre per year …
But market price will bring 2 or 3 times more income depending on the prevailing market price …

This was done in a latitude 11 degree 56 min North latitude and 77 degree East longitude 2109 feet mean sea level …

The soil organic matter percentage was 1.3 %

Day temp 31 degree celsius and night temperature was 22 degree celsius in july and Relative humidity was 76 %
Drainage is not a problem there …

This was actually practised in this location …But there are also other type of intercropping in Banana …That depends on the market demand for farm produce…

Banana + water melon + chillies
Banana + Onion …

So the type of intercropping depends upon the market demand, type of soil and weather condition, drainage and water availability …
So you need to evaluate your land condition with reference to all the required parameters and then plan to do anything in the field of Agriculture …
People might say anything like what I said here …But you need to study fully about your circumstances  and general circumstances around you and information pertinent to your location and circumstances …

Best of Luck AKS farms

Resp AK Farms, you want, intercropping in banana.

Any shade loving plants can be grown in banana plantation. For example, Areka ( first 2 years only ), Black Pepper ( to be climbed on shade loving trees like Mahagani, silver oak etc, Ginger, pine apple, song of india, etc.

Animal husbandary, like growing Nati Koli, in the banana plantation ( ofcourse proper fencing to be provided for hens.

In banana plantations ,banana succers in ratoon crop itself ,will be inter crop in banana plantations. Even two or more succers are allowed now a days in ratoon crop.

Only close monitoring is required in intercropping.

Best wishes sir,  g.p.rao, farmer

Dear G P Rao sir,
            I am planning for Banana + Alasandi in the main pit together with a combination of Castor + Marigold + Chilli on the bunds together with Mint and/or garlic/onion to ward off pests as per the ZBNF process. Is it possible.? 

In my area, castor is normally planted together with the banana plantation for attracting the pests. I wanted to take it a level further. I dont want to plant Areca as i want to close of the plantation after 3 to 4 years and use the land for other plantations. Any suggestions.?


Resp AK Farms, sir, you can plant castor and marygold all around your farm. You can plant alasandi, onion,garlic,mint etc. as far as chillies, i doubt.

best wishes g.p.rao

How can the numbers possible for inter cropping in an acre, as maximum 1200 bananas or 1100 papaya  can be planted in one acre and how brinjal , sesbania, beetal vine possible to be planted along with above two.

Hi friend

Banana and Papaya are alternated in successive rows…2.5M spacing .Between two rows of banana one row of papaya will stand vis a vis between two row of papaya one row of banana will stand. But in banana as well as papaya plant to plant spacing will differ …Another important thing to note here is the crown and canopy of Redlady papaya and TC banana is not as large as native crop varieties…

Further the time of planting papaya and bananaa is staggered by 5 months interval…The sesbania plants are planted around the periphery .It does not compete with either banana or papaya for space or nutrients …More over the sesbania is a fast growing plant which also act as a wind break for papaya and banana …These two crops are highly susceptible and get lodged due to heavy wind .SO it protect these two crops from unusual wind speed …The betel vine are grown along the stem of the sesbania tree …The empty space of the field in the early period of plantation can be used to raise greens which are shorter in duration . But brinjal which can use sun shine in earlier 6 months can give appreciable yield of fruits until the space is covered by both banana and papaya …The brinjal was planted in paired row at 0.45 M * 0.5 M  along the row where papaya stands in the furrow line between banana line …The greens occupied inter space along banana line in the ridge line …

This is a sort of intensive cultivation method which needs extra organic manure and irrigation network …Besides aligning of crops in an appropriate spacing ( overlooking conventional spacing recommended by manual ) and staggering of planting times…

I understand your query as to how this many numbers of plants could be accommodated in one acre field measuring 4000 sq meters

The plant population is calculated by dividing total field area by plant spacing say for example one acre is equal to 4000 sq meter and spacing of TC banana is 1.8 M * 1.8 M …here 4000 / 1.8 *1.8 = 4000 Sq M/3.24  Sq.M = 1235 banana plants or in case of papaya 4000/ 2.0M 8 1.8 M = 4000 sq M / 3.6 M = 1111 plants …the in between space is utilized effectively with an innovative idea aligning of spacing and staggering of planting time …Further the duration of the different crops are not same here …Banana is annual in the sense , papaya is a biennial , greens are short duration crops and brinjal is a seasonal crop …

The other secret in successfully following multicropping is use of extra organic manure …Because the chemical fertilizers alone can not sustain and support performance of all the component crops in multicropping pattern …

Further this kind of cropping pattern was undertaken by a 10 th educated person by name Giri …

Also I can site many example here …Our people are always going by or following what has been written in the cultivation manual or what other says blindly without ascertaining the reason …

Even scientists were wrong about technology …For example in case of sugar cane the the scientist said the fertilizer application shall have to be completed within 3 months .where as sugarcane grows for one complete year …The reason scientist ascribed in support of their statement is that sugarcane needs most of the nutrients during formative and tillering phase which is finished in 3 months after planting and the least requirement of nutrients during grand growth phase could be met from available soil nutrients …

Now the same scientist changed their view and advocate to apply nutrients at the weekly interval till the sugarcane starts its maturity phase in 10 th month …for past 5 decade the farmers followed what these sugar scientist said and no farmer raised question as to why they should not apply nutrients beyond 3 rd month …

So beside following manual and expert advise farmers should think why and for what reason …Some of the farmers keep studying their plants behaviour in the field and based on their experience they design their own technology and come up successful …In this way this farmer Mr.Giri applied his mind and did an innovative multicropping pattern…

Stay blessed

Dear Ramu,
You have mentioned 5 months staggering between planing papaya and banana.
Which one comes first. Im confused. Thank you.

The papaya is planted first and 4-5 months later banana can be planted
The reason is
Banana grows fast and once flower is initiated , the further growth is arrested
where as papaya grows slowly in the early stage and pick up fast growth 4-5 months after planting . So papaya is planted first and in about 4-5 after planting papaya , banana can be planted .
if both crops are grown simultaneously the banana crown will modify the microclimate and might impact papaya …Also two crops can be removed in the same time and field can be prepared ready for next crops …

Dear Ramu Sir,
Thank you very much.