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close this bookRegenerative Agriculture Technologies for the Hill Farmers of Nepal: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 210 p.)
View the documentWorkshop participants
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentProject management committee:
View the documentWorkshop support team
close this folderRegenerative agriculture in the hills of Nepal
View the documentSome Characteristics of a Regenerative Agriculture System
View the documentChallenges of Subsistence Hill Agriculture
View the documentSelecting Agricultural Technologies for the Hills: The Imperatives of Mountain Conditions
View the documentSeasonality Issues of Household Food Security
View the documentBasics of Creating and Maintaining a Healthy, Living Soil
View the documentSun... Air.... Soil.... Water
close this folderCropping systems and post-harvest technologies
View the documentRelay Planting of Winter Crops in Maize
View the documentOptimum Planting Density and Spacing for Maize
View the documentRice Technologies for Nepal Hills
View the documentFinger Millet in Nepal: An Improved Production System
View the documentIntercropping of finger millet (kodo) with crotalaria (sanai)
View the documentLentil (Sikhar) Cultivation for Grain and Fodder Froduction
View the documentSarkari Seto: A Traditional Potato Variety for the Hills
View the documentGrain Storage Management for the Hill Farmers
View the documentLong- Term Storage of Seed Potatoes Using the Diffused Light Storage Principle
close this folderVegetable and fruit production
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentVegetables for Human Nutrition
View the documentOff-Season Vegetable Production
View the documentGrowing Off-Season Vegetables in Potato and Maize Fields
View the documentVegetable Seed Production
View the documentCardamom as a Cash Crop
View the documentIn-Situ Fruit Nurseries
View the documentCircle Nurseries
View the documentPot/Bottle Gourd Irrigation for Fruit Tree Saplings
View the documentTraining and Pruning Techniques in pear and Peach
close this folderNatural resources and their enhancement
View the documentOptimum Use of Marginal Land with Sgroforestry System
View the documentMultipurpose Tree Species and Their Uses
View the documentLive Fence: A Multipurpose Living Structure
View the documentTree Seed Collection
View the documentThe Forest and its Many Uses
View the documentBamboo Propagation and Management
View the documentThe Use and Conservation of Traditional Medicine Plant Resources
View the documentEthno-Veterinary Drugs: Reported Use from the Central Development Region
View the documentUnderutilized Food Crop Resources in the Midhills of Nepal
View the documentWhy Bee keeping? The Role of Bees in pollination
View the documentIntermediate Beekeeping in Nepal
View the documentImproved Terracing for Soil Conservation on Hill Farms
View the documentSmall Ponds for Water Conservation
View the documentRunoff Diversion (Mal Tarkaure) for Landslide Control
View the documentPlanning Erosion Control Measures
View the documentUnderstanding the Environment to Determine Possible Local Solutions to Soil Erosion
View the documentGully Stabilisation
close this folderLivestock and fodder
View the documentFeed Shortages and Seasonality Issues of Livestock in the Hills
View the documentSilage and Crop Residues as Fodder Supplement
View the documentFodder Sources from Trees and Shrubs of Nepal
View the documentExotic Fodder Species as Potential Alternatives to Ipil-Ipil
View the documentPropagation of Fodder Grasses
View the documentPropagation of Fodder Trees
View the documentGrasses and Fodder Trees for Terrace Risers
View the documentNB-21 Grass on Terrace Risers and Bunds
View the documentSalt Licks for Livestock
View the documentThe Large Leafed Mulberry: A Promising Nutritive Fodder for Scarcity Period
View the documentManagement of Breeding Pigs
View the documentUse of Sihundi for the Treatment of roundworms in Pigs
View the documentSmall-Scale Goat Raising
View the documentAngora Rabbit for Wool Production
close this folderSoil fertility, composting and manuring
View the documentPreparation of Organic Manures
View the documentEffective Methods of Compost Application on Hill Farms
View the documentEfficient Method of Organic Matter application for Maize
View the documentEfficient Use of Fertilizer in Maize
View the documentIndigenous Species for Green Manuring
View the documentSesbania Cannabina and Sesbania Rostrata as Green Manures
View the documentVelvet Bean and Jack Bean as Cover Crops
View the documentTree Coppicing/Lopping Techniques for Improved Production
close this folderPest management
View the documentThe Pesticide Problem
View the documentAn Introduction to Integrated Pest Management
View the documentAyurvedic Pest Management in Nepal
View the documentIndigenous Plants of Pesticidal Values in the Hills of Nepal
View the documentBojo for Wheat Weevil Control

Intercropping of finger millet (kodo) with crotalaria (sanai)

Finger millet Eleucine coracana) is a staple grain crop in the midhills of Nepal and has been widely cultivated in the uplands for centuries. After rice, finger millet is the one other grain which produces grain for human consumption and straw for cattle fodder. Finger millet is a very resistant crop which is less prone to diseases, insect pests and climatic variations.

However, it is known as a nutrient-exhausting crop, depleting almost all available nutrients from the soil. As a result the soil becomes poorer and thus requires greater amount of nutrients for the succeeding crop. The addition of extra fertilizer is not always possible as it is scarce and costly.

In order to halt the farmers' basic problem of decreasing soil fertility and production, it is essential to develop viable alternatives. Mixed cropping of crotalaria with finger millet is one of the technologies identified in the field that helps to address the problems. Crotalaria produces a large amount of biomass and fixes N. both of which are crucial to improving soil in the midhills of Nepal.

Farmers in Kaski are adopting and improving this intercropping technique because

1. The crotalaria provides much needed mulch for the succeeding vegetable crop.

2. Farmers have noticed that the soil seems more fertile and is easier to plough after cropping with crotalaria.




Crotalaria and finger millet come up together and act as companions to each other.

The main reason for intercropping crotalaria with finger millet is to help build soil fertility through nodules that are formed on the roots, so the roots should be incorporated after millet harvest. Incorporation of crotalaria biomass is not possible since it is intermixed with finger millet and matures at a different time. The crotalaria is cut and removed while it is in the flowering stage. This will be about 60 days after seeding.

Most of the species of crotalaria are short-lived, hollow-stemmed, fast-growing and can produce about 28 T/ha of biomass. It ranks next to Sesbania in N yield and green matter production. It is capable of supplying more than 100 kg N/ha if it is planted as a sole crop.


1. Broadcast the crotalaria seed at a seeding rate of 15 kg/ha during the time of finger millet transplanting. Transplant the finger millet at the usual rate.

2. Thin the crotalaria while weeding the finger millet if the crotalaria seems thick and is affecting the finger millet. In case of low rainfall, thinning may have to be done earlier in order to avoid competition for soil moisture.

3. Use the crotalaria for composting, mulching, etc. It can be is cut during the flowering stage, about 60 days after seeding. This is also the time when winter vegetables are cultivated in the garden and crotalaria is very good to use as mulch on the vegetables.

4. Incorporate the remaining roots of the crotalaria after finger millet is harvested.

5. Seed production is a major problem with crotalaria. Pod borers often destroy an entire seed crop. Farmers using the finger millet/crotalaria intercropping system have worked to overcome this. They planted crotalaria at many different times of the year in different locations to find a time period when seed production might not be bothered by the pod borer. Their results indicate that for production of the next season's seed, crotalaria can be planted on terrace bunds. Crotalaria planted at one arm length (18") on south facing slopes during June produces good-quality seed which will be ready for harvest in November. Twenty to twenty-five healthy plants produce about one kg of seed.