Dem Beans Farm


Intercropping 2
Our propose as a company is to ensure our members, the small farmers are able to maximise their farms’ potential through whatever means possible.
One such avenue available to our members is intercropping.

Intercropping is the cultivation of two or more crops simultaneously on the same field. The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources or ecological processes that would otherwise not be utilized by a single crop.

The benefits of Intercropping
There are some disadvantages to intercropping but for the purpose of this document and the crops we are producing, the benefits of intercropping outweigh the disadvantages to the farmers.

The benefits depend on several factors like crops, land size, location and resources. The ones most likely to affect us as cocoa growers are:

• Increase income per land size
Greater Income, Greater Yield, – Intercropping offers greater financial returns for small farmers. Even if you are growing some produce for your own family or just as part of a hobby, you will have multiple types of produce, which is always a nice outcome. Intercropping will help farmers use the same land available and yield more as well as diverse produce. This generates more income for the farmer without really taking up any major expenditure. The infrastructure available or the land used remains the same.

• Insurance against Crop Damage
Intercropping can be the insurance that you need as a small farmer, especially when the area the farm is located in is vulnerable to extremes weather, like drought, rain, and hurricane which can negatively affect the farms yield for that given period. Having diverse yields allows the small farmer to have some income in the event the farms’ primary crop failed.

• Optimum Use of Soil
Intercropping makes the most of the available soil. When anything is grown on a farmland, the crop tends to absorb as much water and nutrients as it needs. There could be more nutrients in the soil under the crops and around. This soil and more specifically the nutrients can be used, by the different varieties of crops. Intercropping also averts soil runoff and can prevent the growth of weeds.

• Good for Primary Crops
Intercropping is good for the primary crop which in our case is cocoa. The secondary crops can provide permanent shelter for the cocoa and so doing offer protection. Intercropping will also allow you to grow cash crops or any crop that will actually supplement the primary crop

• Diversity and stability of fields.

• Reduction in chemical and fertilizer application.

• Weed suppression, and a reduction in susceptibility to insects and disease.

• It helps to maintain soil fertility

• It increases productivity per unit area.

• It offers saving on labour cost

• Both crops can be easily harvested and processed separately.

• There are also the environmental benefits.

One research farmer wrote the following on the benefits of growing multiple crops on his field. “Having a diverse rotation helps me reduce my nitrogen costs; it reduces disease, and broadens marketing opportunities,” he says. “It also helps me improve soil biology, and it lengthens the time that I have living roots in the soil.”

Where our members benefit from such an exercise are as follows:
1. Having 2 primary crops in the field increases the farmers annual income
2. Access to government assistance for any additional crop they produce
Our contribution towards this endeavour will be to offer technical and management support and advice to the farmers in relation to the followings:
1. Which crops works best together
2. Base on a site investigation on the farm’s location, soil type and condition, age and type of primary crop we will make suggestion on which planting method will best suit the farm
3. We will inform how each crop/plant will interact
4. We will advise on the economic advantages of the proposed system
5. We will produce and income projection for the farm which we will work with the farmers to ensure the proposed projection can be realised.
6. We will ensure each farmer gets whatever government support are available for the individual crop they produce
7. We will ensure each farmer is registered with the relevant government agency
8. We will ensure each farmer get the necessary training and professional support for the crops they produce
9. And most importantly we will ensure there is a market for the product

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