Hi return farming banana with watermelon as intercrop

Banana planted in the spacing of 1.8 M * 1.8 M and in between watermelon is planted …water melon in just 3 months yield 18 MT and banana in 12 months yield Rs.250 per bunch . Total income from banana as well as water melon per acre per year is 3.63 lac. This is farm gate price , not market price …Banana alone fetched an income of Rs.3 lac per acre @ Rs.250 per bunch for about 1200 bunches in an acre and water melon @Rs.3500 per MT for about 18 MT per acre

T,Ramu., B.Sc., ( Agri ) MBA
AGricultural officer
Dept of Agriculture
Govt of Tamilnadu



Whats the method of cultivation?  Organic?

Kindly share your insights.

Dear Friend ,

This is purely organic farming method. Basal application of Rock phosphate , well cured pressmud , Phosphobacteria , Azospirillum, Pseudomonas and Neemcake and VAM fungi . Polythene mulching used. Top dressing used once in fortnight are Panchakavya , Cow urine, Humic acid and sea weed extract applied through drip irrigation. And followed organic pest and disease control measures…

Plant registered uniform and jubilant growth

Thank you
Ramu, chennai

how much pressmud and neemcake  was applied for basal dose per pit?

What is the ratio of Panchagavya, Cow urine, Humic acid and sea weed extract and how much for per tree?

Hi Ramu,

Nice to hear about good yields.

  1. How long did you allow the press mud to cure ?
  2. How much pressmud did you apply per pant ?
  3. How frequently did you spray Panchagavya ?

Hari Devarapalli

Just great to hear about your yielding

Thank you friend

T.Ramu., B.Sc., ( Agri ) MBA
Agricultural officer

You are doing nice job. You are doing  organic farming and also applying Bio fertilizers. Please let me know the application quantities at different stages.
Thank you,
B.Nageswara Rao
Shanti Agrotech
Nandyal-518501 A.P.
CELL: 099898828
E-mail: shantiagrotech@gmail.com

Dearest Mr.Nageswara Rao

Thank you for your interest …Since you are also running Agro farms I need not explain much about organic farming …however in this respect I wish to brief you on few salient points as regards Nutrient management…Organic farming means general things but when we talk about specific crops the nutrients requirement varies as per its growth status and yielding pattern …we can not treat and rate paddy and banana equally …So in this connection, especially Banana that is annual crop and sometime biennial or even triennial depending upon our preference to grow ratoon crop after first as well as second crop of banana , the nutrient requirement is bit more compared to other crops grown under organic procedure

As you are aware , the banana crop require more nutrients both macro as well as secondary and trace elements we supplied 500 kgs of Rock phosphate , 1 MT vermicompost made out of Pressmud ( which is major source of secondary as well as trace elements ) 2 kgs each of Azospirillum and phosphobacteria , 0.5 kg of VAM , 100 kgs  of Neemcake and 100 kgs of Pungamia cake ( to control soil born pest and nematode infestations.

For first three months we supplemented humiphos 3%  and panchakavya 3% each once in a month through drip irrigation . From Seventh month onwards , in addition to the  above 2 supplement we applied  sea weed extract  and sanajeevini organic bio booster delivered from Suraj bio  organic co. @ 1.5 %thrice in a month .This enhance fruit bunches development and shining of fruits and uniform development of all the bunches …We stopped all the supplement at 11 th month.

Our aim to to choose and supply those organic manure which meet out requirement of crop cultivated organically …As a matter of fact you see Banana need phosphate , and potash of formation and development of fruit bunches , Boron fertile and quality fingerlings …Sulphur for easy emergence and spreading of zero leaves and crown , iron and magnesium for lascivious leaves …Also you know that organic manure does not have any limit of application but it we need to exercise care  and judge the need of the crop depending on the circumstances so as to reduce the cost of inputs vis a vis over all cost of cultivation…

Stay blessed

T.Ramu., B.Sc., ( Agri ) MBA
Agricultural officer

Thank you sir for your excellent information. I would like to say something regarding intercrop. If the drip irrigation is being adopted, it is better to sow (6" distance) the 4 watermelon seeds surrounding the each dripper instead of between the two plants.The number of plants will be more. please think about it.

Thank you my dear friend …We can just modify the pattern as we wish…but there is some rule …How many seeds we sow around the dripper is not the question here but it is the question of how effectively the the empty space is being utilised until the main plant Banana cover the ground …Also note that we need to do the pruning in watermelon , both excessive branches as well as excess number of fruits so as to allow only quality fruits to develop …which in turn produce marketable quality .That means the plant will have to bear 2 or 3 fruits per branch and branches are also permitted to be 2 or three .It is the question of quality of the produce …Further there are lot of varieties in watermelon …some of which meant for juices in local market which fetch average or minimum price and some of the watermelon varieties are costly and is used in star hotels , which bring higher price. Hence we mean quality .However the preference for more number of plants or choice of varieties rest with farmers choices …I will not blame anyone for choosing any particular pattern …After all agricultural practices are of  trial and error …Farmers need to apply their mind in the field…Anyhow best wishes for your effort and idea …keep it up my dear friend

Thanks and regards

Dear Mr. Ramu,

    Thank you for your post and congratulations on your great yield and revenue generation. Can you please give an idea on the production cost for both the crops you mentioned?

Thank you.

Dear Mr.Swamy

Here additional cost is cost of watermelon seeds only since other operations are same for both banana and watermelon …
For Banana the cost of cultivation includes Seedlings, Rock phosphate , ploughing ,mulching sheet , manures and organic principles and labour .

I hope Mr.Swamy , you have been doing organic cultivation since many years in the past…So I think you might have your own experience and expertise in this regard . I learned that yourself have become an encyclopaedia for A - Z knowledge

Stay blessed


Dear Mr. Ramu,

      I think its a case of mistaken identity. I am not the Swamy you are thinking. :slight_smile: I am new to this forum. I grew up in the farm but have very little farming knowledge as I moved out after my high school like many did. The knowledge I have is what I learned in first 18 years of my life and only hear say knowledge after that. But I still have interest in agriculture and was led to this forum my the amazing google. This is a wonderful forum. Whoever runs/maintains it kudos to them…

My dad is still farming in our ancestral land (~20 acres) and he worked in TNAU as rice specialist and retired 25 years ago. He discourages coming back to farming as full-time job. He says labor shortage/cost and material cost will eat away all the profit and will end up in loss unless you toil yourself fully and do all the work. This is achievable only for farmers with 2-3 acres or so. He farms just like many do in this forum with multi-crop (Banana/Jack/Paddy(sold mostly as seeds)/Mango/Coconut/Arecanut/Naval/Papaya/Cattles,etc). From what I hear ultimately the take home net revenue is near zero. In fact around the area near his farm most of them left farming even though its an arable region with good/decent water facilities.

With that background, when I see lots of post on revenue front and also read/hear on newspapers/TV about so much profit being made by one farmer here and there I always wonder what I am missing (rather what my dad is missing).

Thank you.

Thank you Swamy …what your father said might be true according to his experience and it is also true in certain circumstances . Inspite of all the odds the human intervention with suitable technology , choice of commercial crops , market intelligence , right judgement of the circumstances and forecast of demand for the produce which we intend to cultivate , and most important location of  project site , transport and labor or alternative to labour play crucial role in making agriculture business viable and profitable…when any of these goes wrong it will sure reflect in farm income …

For example Farm income means Gross income minus cost of cultivation
Gross income is determined by yield multiplied by market price
To get more income the yield as well as market price must be high …when market price  is high but yield is less then it will decrease gross farm income .Likewise when yield is high but market price is low then again it will reduce gross farm income …
So high farm income is determined by Higher yield , higher market price ( Price is determined by more demand for the particular farm produce ) and less cost of cultivation…

For example A Tomato farmer who is cultivating hybrid tomato in one acre is 40 MTs and the market price per kg is Rs.10 , then his gross farm income is 40,000 * 10 = Rs.4,00,000 …if market price is a throw away price of Rs.1 per kg then his gross farm income is Rs.40,000.Income lost due to loss of market price is 3.6 lac rupees…Like wise when cost of cultivation per acre tomato is more , gross farm income will go down .When cost of cultivation is less the gross farm income will go up …

To increase yield we need to select high yielding crops which is also preferred in the market by consumers . Through market intelligence we need to choose crop to get maximum price for our farm produce …

To reduce cost of cultivation , we must avoid wasteful expenditure on seeds quantity , judicious application of manure and fertilizers which are costly now a days in the market , Optimum labor etc.,When you harvest one crop you can also plant another crop before the harvest of first crop . By the time first crop is harvested the subsequent crop would have established well and comes to flowering early…This will avoid land preparation and labor cost for the subsequent crops and also save time…Her we need to apply our human intelligence …

Also we can apply and supplement locally available low cost organic manure with commercial synthetic fertilizers . Hence we can reduce the quantity and  use of high cost chemical fertilizers .This will reduce cost of cultivation and enhance the quality of the produce …

It is human intelligence that plays major role and decide whether Agriculture is profitable or loss making industry …

Here also I wish to cite one example that is truly witnessed by myself in the farmer’s field

A farmer in Thiruvallur district has planted Dates in his 15 acre farm land . The motivation behind his planting dates in his land is an article in a periodical devoted to agriculture in tamil vernacular language about DATES cultivation and huge profit earned from this project . The article ran for 3 pages. After reading the article the farmer contacted the person mentioned below the article and arranged to plant dates in over 15 acres …
The promise made by the representative is that dates plantation will start giving yield in 2 to 3 years and per acre farm income will be around 10 lac per year . The farmer calculated total farm income as Rs.1.5 crore from out of 15 acres and invested Rs.21 lac on seedlings alone and applied heavy dose of Chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizers and micro nutrients and et cetera et cetera …

When I visited the farm at the age of 7 th year after planting in the year 2013 only 20 % of the tree flowered and rest are all male plants . The plants could not  be identified as to its sex characteristics …Yield also not upto the expectation…Finally the farmer lost nearly 0.5 crore of his money time and energy …Then he sold all the date palm  to the chennai city for landscaping…

So it shows lack of thorough knowledge about particular crops , market price , demand pattern, market size , climatic parameters , seasons , cultivation packages , et cetera …

Even some farmers are announcing in the media  that  they  got huge profit  from particular agriculture enterprise or project , yet they hesitate to disclose the real fact that they actually incurred loss in the project fearing damage to their name and fame …

Also there are few people on this earth who are making continuous profit in Agriculture but they are not into limelight …

In my experience as Agriculture extension officer and farm manager both in private and now govt sector which together spread over 25 years now I have personally come across more than 10,000 farmers in both karnataka and Tamilnadu and also part of Kerala state and learned actual history with the farming community

Today’s world is moving towards organic food product due to an impact of bad health caused by the consumption of food produced conventionally using chemical fertilizers and poisonous pesticides .Still the organic produce could not fetch good price to the producer due to lack of branding and promotion and post harvest management practices and appropriate consumer market …

Further there is no systematized and established and complete knowledge about organic farming …Everybody says they are doing organic …
But I hear and learn that there exist huge demand for organic vegetables and other organic food produce both in National and international market …High quality organic produce with taste, aroma , sheer shining appearance , uniform size ,sorted and graded  packed neatly and  , branded and promoted will sure bring huge profit to the producers…

So Mr.Swamy , you dont get discouraged …when you use your intelligence and knowledge in the right direction the future and success is yours…stay blessed my dear friend

Thanks and regards

T.Ramu., B.Sc., ( Agri ) MBA

Seed certification officer

Dept of Seed certification & Organic certification

Govt of tamilnadu


Thank you Mr. Ramu, for bring out all the salient points of doing agriculture/farming.

I have few questions regarding some of the points you mentioned:

    1. Market Price:

              You gave the example of Tomatoes which I think is an apt example for huge price range which I keep hearing. During the season due to the glut of tomatoes prices usually go very low.  I wish there is a way to hold on to it until the season ends (like they do for apple, turmeric, etc) which can be done either by canning or freezing it. Without these its hard to make any gain… Is there a way to work around it?

  2. Organic Farming:
      I currently live in U.S. I see here most small farmers(organic or other wise) are only in survival mode just like in India. Its corporate farming that manages high volume and also control everything from farm to fork seem to doing the best business both in organic and non-organic sector.  I also see corporate farming taking roots in India as well. From my novice knowledge only corporate farming can showcase the same size/weight fruits with no defects attractively on the shelves. So it needs uniformity applied in a large scale. Do you think farmers joining together to do a corporate scale farming is feasible in India?

Also, I would like to know your thoughts on Natural farming:


Is it viable in Salem/Erode/Namakkal area?

Sorry to hijack your original thread. We can move this to another thread if you want it to be.

Thank you.

Anything is possible under the sun when human being apply his intelligence . Corporate farming or corporate companies stay in advantages as regards advertisement and market promotion which needs nearly around 30 to 40 % of the total cost …Farmers can join together and work well for profitable agriculture venture so as to increase their bargaining power and this has already been followed in tamilnadu …


hello ramu sir,

could please mention how many plants you planted per acer.

  1. how many banana plants?
  2. how many watermelon plants?


Dear Mr.Pandu

Greetings… I feel it is right to answer your queries here …Mr.Pandu …Crop geometry is very important …When we say organic it is not just applying organic inputs and principles to cultivate toxin free produce but it also means tasteful produce with good yield so as to earn good farm income to the producers.It should meet both ends , say the requirement of the consumers in terms of taste , aroma and flavor and residue free produce , and the return for the labor and investment of the producers, say organic farmers …

Coming to your points , we espaced banana at 1.8 M * 1.8 M  with 1230 plants per acre
And the water melon seeds at 1.8 M * 0.6 M with 3703 plants as intercrop in Banana field

We obtained 1200 bunches with each bunches weighing around 36 to 42 kgs
In case of water melon we pruned the branches to an average of 2.5 branches per plant and obtained average fruit weight of 2 kgs but individual fruit weight ranged from 1.2 kgs 3.1 kgs and the total yield from water melon was 18.5 MT per acre in just 85 days …

I am associating with Mr.Vedic Organic vasu now to improve upon this method and align crop geometry to 2.0 M * 2.0 M spacing  for banana with 1000 plants per acre and water melon intercrop spacing 2.0 M * 0.3 M , with 6666 plants per acre , average three branches per plant and average fruit weight of 2 kgs so as to get per acre yield of around 38 to 40 MT .

Our estimate of annual farm income from this system of banana plus watermelon intercropping is Rs.4.5 lac an improvement of 87,000 rupees over earlier method …

By aligning the banana spacing we hope to increase individual bunch yield to the range of  45 to 48 kgs …Because Mr.Organic vasu’s innovative vedic concept promise good yield and return from systematic and organized organic farming concepts …

Mr.Organic vasu is talking with international buyers to find suitable and high return market for organic farm  produce . When this idea click positive , we expect to increase the farm income for the vedic organic produce at least 2 to 3 times more …

So Mr.Pandu…for any further queries please feel free to call Mr.Organic Vasu of Vedic Organic Research Farm , chennai . His Mobile number is 09944448611


Dear Ramu,
Can you kindly tell me what variety of Banana did you plant. I assume that you must have planted G9 and that each Bunch weighs about 25kgs the farm gate price for G9 should comes to be about Rs 10/Kg.