Multi-layer Farming Model Process and Advantages
Multilayer farming means the Cultivation of multiple crops of different heights and maturity periods on the same piece of land at the same time that is compatible with each other together It is the most common practice in fruit orchards and plantation crops for the maximum use of sunlight even under high planting populations.
In other words, we can say that the cultivation of different compatible and mutually advantageous crops like; vegetables, pulses, flowers, and fruits on the same field/land that are different in maturity days, plant height, plant root growth & development
Major Objectives of Multilayer Farming;
The basic objective of the multilayer farming practice is growing multiple crops under a highly-Dense population structure to efficiently use the available resources like; Land, Space, sunlight, air, nutrients, and water.
Other objetives Includes:-
1) To Maximize the utilization of available farm resources Viz; land, labor, and capital.
2) To Harvest the crops at regular intervals all around the year.
3) To Conserve the water resources of the farms
3) Reduction in the cost of crop production and input utilization.
4) To support organic and sustainable farming
5) To reduce the use of Agrochemicals in agriculture.
6) To ensure the food and nutritional security of the household.
Advantages of the Multilayer Farming;
1) Multilayer Farming reduces water evaporation from the soil surface due to 70% of water is saved
2) Multi-layer farming practice increases the income per unit area ( ensures equal distribution of the farm income and Employment)
3) It reduces the risks of crop production losses
4) It provides a continuous supply of farm produce all around the year.
5) Multilayer farming improves soil fertility by adding organic matter/humus to the soil.
6) Multilayer farming gives protection from the high-intensity rainfall
7) It reduces the process of soil erosion and landslides.
8) It increases the water-holding capacity of the soil
9) Multilayer farming increases biodiversity and create unique microclimatic conditions and such prevailing conditions creates effective measures to control the incidence of weeds, pest, and disease
Disadvantages of the Multilayer Farming System;
1) It is highly labor-intensive.
2) Performing any type of mechanical activity in the field is not possible.
3) weeds, pests, and diseases can not be controlled chemically
4) Different crops may show adverse competitive effects.
How to Create Multilayer Crop Structure;
The land should be preferably square or rectangular shape in geometry. The area of the land depends on your selection of crops. Land should be highly approachable for frequent visits to observe the multiple crop’s growths)
2) Land Preparation;
Gently prepare the land for multiple-layer cropping. Various activities like primary tillage and secondary tillage should be properly performed. Apply farmyard manure and vermicompost to the soil as per requirements.
3) Pre-Sowing Field Treatments;
Apply fungicides to the soil before sowing to protect crops from various soil-borne diseases (due to moisture level at the root zone may cause several fungi may attack.)
4) Building the Structure;
Building a house-like structure is the most important step of multilayer farming. It can be created by using bamboo or other wooden pegs. The frame of the roof can be made by knitting with small tangible wires and after knitting various grasses are spread over the roof to prevent direct sunlight.
5) It will be great if we cover the whole structure from all around. This can be done with the help of different types of grasses.
Multilayer Farming Model ;
Let us understand the multilayer farming model with an example step by step;
1) Crop Selection; Select the multiple crops which you want to grow and that should possess different germination and maturing periods. Let us select three crops Viz; Colocasia, Potato, and Coriander for Multilayer farming. All the selected crops have different maturity and germination time which are as follows;
Days to Germinate
Days to Maturity
2) Sowing Pattern of Different Crop;
Sow all the crops in the month of ‘Jan’ and follow the pattern as shown in the above picture Major steps are as follows ;
a) As we know from the above table the Celecasia takes 60-90 days for germination and 210-240 days to mature based on this information sow the colocasia at a depth of 25-30 cms in the third layer.
b) Potato takes 20-30 days for germination and 60-90 days to maturity hence it should be sown at a depth of 15-20 cm in the second layer.
c) while coriander takes 4-6 days for germination and 25-30 days to maturity hence it should be sown on the top layer ie Layer one In this way, we have created all three layers.
3) Growth Pattern of the Different Crop;
a) As coriander is sown on the top layer and it will be ready to harvest in the month of Jan itself so we can harvest the coriander crop
b) As soon we harvest the top layer crop the potato which is sown in the middle layer (2nd layer) will get germinated out and that can be harvested within 60-90 days.
c) Now after the harvesting of the potato crop the colocasia will germinate out and that can be harvested within 210-240 days
Hence this way, we can take the production of 3 crops on the same piece of land and this technique of crop production is called Multilayer farming.
Note; Celocasia crop will get harvested in the month oct and the field remains fallow for two months you can plan to sow some other crop for the next two months.
Examples of Different Crop combination for Multilayer Farming;
B) Examples of vegetable-based multilayer cropping system;
c) Suitable Crops for Different Layers in Multilayer Farming;
How plants grow under the Multilayer Farming System;
In multilayer farming usually, 4-5 crops of different maturity periods and germination periods are planted on the same field few points must be followed while going for multilayer farming these are as follows ;
1) For layer 5th select the crop that grows and matures under the soil surface ( Roots and Bulb Crops) and these crops must have the highest germination period.
2) Consecutive crops of the middle layers (ie Layer 4th to Layer 3rd) must have a high germination pace in comparison to their respective lower layer crop and a low germination period in comparison to their respective upper layer crop
3) 2nd layer crop should be the fastest-growing crop so that it timely leaves space for the growth and development of other crops
4) Top layer ( Ist layer) crop should possess the following characteristics;
a) It should be mature at maximum height.
b) It should have a long-duration maturity
c) It should be planted less in numbers
d) Proper planting distance must be followed
Crop Management in Multilayer Farming System;
A multilayer farming system needs proper and timely crop management to get high production from each crop sown under this system;
1) Leafy crops must be harvested regularly and timely
2) Staking for the climbers should be properly arranged
3) Use the insect trap
4) Always use a shedding structure that should be comprised of bamboo and grasses and Must avoid Multilayer farming in open spaces otherwise quality and yield may get deteriorated
5) Irrigation should be properly managed over-irrigation may cause damage to all the sown crops in this system.
6) weak seedlings must be removed timely