Conversion of an 8 Acre rubber plantation to a multi-layered ZBNF natural farm

Dear all

I am an expatriate who is planning to retire by end of this year and concentrate of Shri Palekar’s ZBNF farming.

As early steps, I and my wife has attended ZBNF courses and is impressed by the lectures.  We have another 2.15 acres where we try ZBNF farming with good (but not BEST) results for the last 4 years.  We also have around 12 desi cows whose urine and dung is extensively used for our farm in Karuvannur, Trichur.

1.Our rubber plantation (Puthur, Trichur District, Kerala) is in a hilly area where scarcity of water is an issue.  The rubber is about to be re-planted and I am confused as to
    (a) whether to re-plant rubber in the whole lot per Palekar model with other crops;
    (b) to convert it to a coconut and other mixed crops farm.  I would love to go for coconut mixed farm because it is more in tune with  our agriculture,
    (d) rubber prices are down (though I hope short term),
    (e) experienced tappers are rare to find
(4) I have a belief that rightly planned, we can make as much income from the coconut plantation.  The challenges are
    (a) scarcity of water - though Palekarji claims by ZBNF methods, 85% irrigation can be avoided and it can be purely rainfed, I            have not seen any farms doing like that in Kerala;
      (b) need to have a good skilled organic/ZBNF consultant who can do this on a turn-key basis.

Your suggestions and advice are welcome.  Is there anybody based in Trichur who can help us in the replanting - of course on a fee basis.  Many thanks for your guidelines.

Jayan KG
India Res 91-480 288 5185; M +91 949 777 3799 
E kgjayan@gmail.com

Your assumption on rubber is correct. Rubber plantations are growing exponentially in Kerala and coastal Karnataka. Rubber rates are coming down.
Please go thru below thread, you can stop cutting down existing trees (below method says how to avoid replanting)
farmnest.com/forum/new-trends-in … /#msg12470

Have your soil tested. If you have 2% of organic carbon you can reduce 30% of water requirement and 5% of organic carbon you can reduce 60% of water requirement.

See my comments inline…