Intercropping sugar cane
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1989. Intercropping sugar cane. Spore 19. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45015
A multidisciplinary approach to food production and farrning has demonstrated how intercropping of sugar cane can have beneficial effects on the nutrition of cane farmers and their families, and on the yields of cane also. A team of researchers in...
A multidisciplinary approach to food production and farrning has demonstrated how intercropping of sugar cane can have beneficial effects on the nutrition of cane farmers and their families, and on the yields of cane also. A team of researchers in Nyanza Province, Kenya, who were led by Dr A Pala Okeyo, anthropologist at the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi have shown that aIthough sugar cane takes 22 months to mature, it is usually grown as a monocrop, with rows planted too closely to permit intercropping. However, if the distance between rows is increased marginally to make space for two protein-rich noncash crops, there is no competition for nutrients or sunhght during the three months that the intercrops are present. Indeed, where the crops are maize and beans, the cane benefits from the plant residues, which conserve moisture and stifle weeds, and from the nitrogen fixed by the beans. A further benefit proved to be a change in attitude among the cane growers. Sugar cane requires considerable weeding, work usually done by women who usually show little enthusiasm for the task, since it is the men who receive the cash rewards at harvest. However when the women were able to grow an intercrop of food plants, their enthusiasm was much greater and both cane and intercrop benefited from their weedmg. For more details, contact: Dr A Pala Okeyo - ICIPE - PO Box 30772 - Nairobi - KENYA