Prospect of intercropping mulberry with other cash crops bright: Experts | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 05, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:38 AM, March 08, 2015

Prospect of intercropping mulberry with other cash crops bright: Experts

Prospect of intercropping mulberry with other cash crops bright: Experts

The prospect of intercropping mulberry trees with other vegetables and spices is bright and this can boost additional income from the same land aside from silk cocoon production in the country, said researchers and scientists.
They said some vegetables, spices and crops, including black gram and wheat, could easily be produced in between the spaces of mulberry rows for maximum utilisation of land resources.
Professor Dr Sawdagor Mahfuzur Rahman of zoology department of Rajshahi University told the agency that the prospect of intercropping has been increased as mulberry is being cultivated on around 8,000 hectares of land, including roadside plantation, throughout the country for the last couple of years.
Mulberry in Bangladesh is cultivated for silkworm rearing and production of silk cocoon.
He said domestic silk could not compete with imported silk in terms of price and quality and domestic silk has been gradually losing its market since 1995.
Subsequently, the traditional silk industry had been incurring loss and the affected mulberry farmers were forced to shift to producing other seasonal crops.
Mulberry cultivation is more or less dependent on fallow lands and other roadside mulberry plants without proper management practice at present.
Taking the unexpected situation into consideration, Bangladesh Sericulture Research and Training Institute (BSRTI) has carried out some research works titled “technology transfer for intercropping with mulberry cultivation” with some seasonal vegetables and spices like palangshak, lalshak, onion and arum to get additional income from the same land to encourage the cultivators for re-plantation of mulberry plants.
Contacted, Senior Research Officer of BSRTI Dr Saidur Rahman said the research output was positive relating to the production of spices, vegetables and mulberry leaves along with attaining food security.
Highlighting other positive aspects of intercropping, he said that policy-level decision is very essential for extension of the system to make it popular among the growers, so that the system can be successful through proper motivation and demonstration among the grassroots farmers.
"As the mulberry cultivation is labour-intensive and a large number of womenfolk are found involved in the system, intercropping mulberry cultivation with other crops could be successful," said Dr Saidur Rahman.
Director General of Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board (BSDB) Swapan Chandra Paul said the BSDB has been working actively to devise a way to bring the existing mulberry cultivation under intercropping with other cash crops and vegetables for the sake of food security.

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