|SPORE Bulletin of the CTA No. 08 - January 1987 (CTA - Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, 1987)|
Intercropping sorghum with rice on areas liable to flooding can provide a more reliable harvest, without involving farmers in much extra work.
In the Jonglei Province of Southern Sudan, sorghum or maize crops are often partly or entirely lost when low-lying lands get flooded in the wet season.
Researchers at the Bor Production Farm have been looking for a solution by testing the intercropping of sorghum and rice over the last three years on low-lying land partly subject to flooding. Sorghum and rice were planted together in May, with the sorghum being harvested three to four months afterwards and rice a month later. The rice of course grew well in the water-logged conditions, while the sorghum thrived on drier plots. Several areas which were sometimes flooded and sometimes dry produced both rice and sorghum, the inclusion of rice,in fact, meant that 60% more grain was produced.
Although farmers in the region had never grown rice before, two hundred of them agreed to try the new cropping system. They found that some extra labour was required to plant the rice, but later on there was less need for weeding as the rice quickly made a ground-cover.
For further information consult:
World crops July/August 1985 Agraria Press Ltd Yew Tree House
Horne Horley Surrey RHO