Cover Image
close this bookCrops and Cropping Systems (IIRR, 1992, 43 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMessage
View the documentProceedings of the workshop
View the documentList of participants
View the documentCurrent program thrusts in upland development
View the documentCropping systems: an overview
View the documentFiber crops and technologies
View the documentRoot crops for food, feed and income
View the documentUpland rice cultivation with agroforestry
View the documentIntercropping under residual or logged-over areas
View the documentRice paddy in upland areas

Intercropping under residual or logged-over areas

This technology involves the intercropping of coffee, betel and rattan under the residual or logged-over areas. The residual or logged-over areas are usually cleared of underbrush (vines, shrubs, climbing bamboos, etc.), leaving naturally growing trees at 1418 meters intervals and when necessary supplemental planting of forest trees is resorted to depending on the degree of shade provided by the canopy. Coffee saplings are planted at 2-3 meter intervals under the forest trees that act as nurse trees.

The technology has been practiced by the migrant Ifugaos in Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and parts of Isabela. The areas where this technology is being applied are usually with (1) an estimated elevation range of 400-1000 meters above sea level; (2) with rolling to hilly terrain; (3) within the second and third climatic types; and, (4) whose soil are rich in litterfall or accumulated humus.

The technology is an adaptation and/or modification of an indigenous practice of muyong or pinugo system (woodlot) of the Ifugaos. The system is characterized by the following:

· has low inputs and relatively low-to-medium yields;

· minimizes disturbance to the forest ecosystem in terms of vegetation, fauna and physical environment;

· serves, as shelter for wildlife and source of animal protein in terms of trapped bats and squirrels; and
· supports the viability of irrigated rice paddies located downstream.


1. Site preparation. This involves the cleaning/slashing and clearing of undesirable underbrush and inhibitor species in the logged-over areas. Supplemental planting of forest is undertaken, maintaining an average distance of 16 meters between the forest trees that serve as nurse trees.

2. Planting stock preparation. Coffee saplings of usually 2-3 years age are carefully chosen, uprooted, trimmed and wrapped with dried banana stalks and then transported to the planting site. Saplings are left in the planting site for 2-3 weeks before the actual planting to acclimatize them in the area.

3. Outplanting coffee saplings. Dig 30-cm holes at 2-3 m intervals under the forest canopy. Two coffee saplings are usually planted in each hole. Rattan and betel wildlings about 30 centimeters tall are collected from mother plants. (See Growing Rattan, pages 48-55 in Trees and their Management). Three to five rattan seedlings are planted beside each naturally growing tree. Betel seedlings are planted along the transition between the forest and the annual cropping area or rice paddies 4-5 meters apart.

4. Maintenance of plantation. Weedings are conducted every three months in the first year and, subsequently, once a year or during harvest. Pruning, bending or pegging of mature coffee stems during harvesting are practiced to promote the development of secondary stems and increase fruitbearing capacity. Betel palm and rattan entails lesser cultural treatments.

5. Harvesting. Coffee trees bear fruits after three years. The initial yield is 0.515 tons per hectare and increases to 0.65 tons in succeeding years. Limuran is primarily cultivated for its poles/canes while littoko is planted for its edible fruits. The nuts of the betel palm are ingredients for betel chewing and also used for medicinal and ritual purposes.



Nurse Trees

Naturally Growing

Pterocarpus indicus


Canarium aspermum


Dracontomelon dao


Olstoria macrophylla


Palaquim elongatum


Syzygium nitidum


Alstonia scholars


Supplemental Plants

Samanea saman


Swietenia macrophylla


Leucaena leucocephala Ipil-ipil


Intercropped Species

Coffee robusta


Calamus manillensis


Areca catechu

Betel palm

Calamus omatus



Evangelista, P. P. Land Evaluation for Agroforestry in the Philippines. Ph.D. Dissertation, UPLB Graduate School. Unpublished.

Legrand, D. Community Forest Management and Agroforestry Program for the Philippines. Deutsche Forstservice Gmbh. May 1991.

Manila, A.C. Pindog, B. and Yagyagon, H. Integrated Rainforest Management Project. Nagtipunan, Quirino, Philippines, Personal Communication.

Side view

Top view