Multilayer farming can be scientifically defined as an integrated agricultural system in which we plant (4-5) different types of crops on same land and at same time which matures at different height and in different time.
Actually-It is a type of intercropping which is at growing trend these days. This method is progress over traditional farming methods.
Akash Chaurasia has develop the concept of multilayer farming. He started cultivating the crops by forming different layers and by the application of this technique he has proved of getting heck lot of higher production.
Many people confuses on multi tier, multi-storied and multilayer cropping system.All of them are same.
Before we start- We recommend you to have a look on article of success story of farmer from India by doing multilayer farming. This story is covered in newspaper and that article is in picture below:-
Multilayer is made up of two words:- multi and layer. Multi means many and layer means strata of different height.
In Agriculture Multilayer Farming System means growing combination of different vegetables, pluses, flowers and fruits on same land which have different growth height and maturity time.
These selected vegetables fruits and other crops are cash crop based and they also provide advantage to other crop. Eg:- Growing legumes in multilayer farming adds nitrogen in soil. Similarly- Growing pest trapping flowers reduces production loss.
In multilayer farming, the crops grown have different germination time.So-They are sown at different depth of soil.
The first crop sown at deepest layer of soil should germinate less So that-The middle layer and Upper layer of soil can be utilized to grow early maturing crops.
Multilayer Farming is based on the principle of-High Density Planting-Making the ultimate and efficient use of manure, water, land and vertical space.
Other Principles Includes:-
- Maximum use of available resources of land, labour and capital.
- Minimization of production cost and input used.
- Development of organic and sustainable farming mitigating the use of chemicals agriculture.
- Ensuring the food and nutritional security to household.
Example/Model Of Multilayer Farming
In a land prepared-We select the crops to be grown. The selected crops have different germinating and maturation time.
For eg:- Here-We are going to make multilayer farming of- Colocasia, Potato And Leafy Vegetable like corriander. Now- Lets-Have a look on germinating and maturing time of these crops.
Colocasia is long duration crop. It is planted in the month of January. After plantation-Colocasia takes (7-8) months for fully mature enough to harvest. It germinates up to ground level after (2-3) months after sowing.
Form this information we get the idea that- For (2-3) months i.e During the germiantion time of colocasia the upper and middle layer of soil remain unused.
So-Here-We got a chance to make it multilayer. Now-What we do here is- We sow the colocasia at the deepest layer of (25-30)cm in January. Then-We select Potato.
Now-The Potato is sown at the middle layer of soil at the depth of (10-15)cm from ground in the same month of january.
Potato matures within (2-3) months And it takes (20-30) days to germinate up to ground. So Again- The topmost level of soil remains unused for (20-30) days.
Now-Again-What we do is- We select a leafy vegetable which matures within a (20-30)days.
This leafy vegetable is sown at the depth of 5cm from ground. Now-Our all 3 layers are occupied with crops that have different germinating and maturing time. This creates multilayer system.
Now-In the month of january- The leafy vegetable is ready to harvest and we harvest it. As soon as we harvest it- The middle layer crop i.e Potato germinates out.
And Again- After the harvest of Potato- Colocasia germinates out.
In this way-We get the production of three crops from the same unit of land. This is called multilayer technique.
At the month of October-We harvest colocasia. Then land again becomes fallow for next two months until january.
This 2 month month can be utilized to grow any other crop according to the season.
We can also grow fruits maintaining the proper distance between them to make the sunlight reach down to the lower crops.
Th multilayer farming crop combination list is shown below:-
The crops should choosen according to following nature:-
- The crops at lower height should have characteristics of growing in shade and humidity. While the crops growing at top height should have characteristics of growing in direct sunlight and bear more evaporation rate.
OBjectives Of Multilayer Farming
- Main objective of multilayer farming is maximum and effective use of vertical space.
- Optimum use of per unit area of land for production.
- Harvesting of crops on regular basis all round the year.
- Conservation of water along with increasing productivity.
Steps Of Making Multilayer Structure
•First of all you have to select a land. The area of land depends on the amount of crops you want to plant.It will be great if the selected land is of geometric shape(Square or Rectangle).
•After selecting land, reclamation of land should be done. Different operation such as primary tillage and secondary tillage should be done and large amount of FYM and vermicompost should be added to soil.
•Some fungicide also should be added to soil before sowing as there is more moisture at root zone due to which different fungi may attack.
•Then, we have to buit a house like structure. We can use bamboo or other wooden pegs to make framework of the house. The frame of roof can be made with small bamboos and different grasses are spread over the roof. This will prevent direct sunlight.
•It will be great if we cover the whole structure from all around. This can be done by the help of diffrent types of grasses.
•The use of wooden pegs and grasses will drastically reduce the investment cost.
Note:- It will be great if we check the pH of the soil.(It is done at different labs. You have to provide the soil sample of your land and they will analyse the land PH. You have to pay some money for this test).
•It will be great if the pH of soil is near to neutral. If it is too acidic or too alkaline the production will reduced severely.
Note:-For acidic soil, lime should be applied.
Growth Pattern Of Crops
These different (4-5) crops planted in multilayer farming have different growth and development pace. Special attention should be given in selecting the types of crops that will later forms multilayers.
- The first crop grows and matures inside the soil. The time taken for the germination of deepest crop should be highest.
- The next crop should grow at the middle surface of soil and should germinate faster then deepest crop and slower than topmost crop.
- Next crop should matures at ground level height and it should grow and matures fastest if all othe crops leaving the space for other crops.
- Final crop should matures at maximum height. Actually-It is fruit that grows for long time. This need to be grown at certain spaces and should be less in number.
The Crops Planted At Different Layers Are Shown Below:-
|1st Layer||Ginger, Turmeric, Onion, Garlic, Yam, Sweet Potato, Potato
|2nd Layer||Leafy Veggies, Fenugreek, Spinach, Corriander
|3rd Layer||Chilli, Okra, Tomato, Brinjal
|4th Layer||Cucumber, Bitter gourd, Ridge Gourd, Ash gourd, Pumpkin
|5th Layer||Papaya, Banana, Coconut
Crop Nature In Multilayer Farming
1.The crops which are planted underground should be deep rooted crop and shade loving.
2.The crops planted on surface should be leafy. By planting these leafy plant we get a lot of benefits. The benefits are listed below:-
✓Leafy plants completely covers the ground, So, there is no enough space for weed to grow.
✓As these leafy crops completely covers the ground, the moisture content of soil is preserved and we don’t need to irrigate regularly.
✓These leafy crops are harvested as they start to grows. During harvesting, they are uprooted. Due to this, there is good aeration in soil.
3.The climbing plants should be staked properly for their growth and development. These climbing plants can reach up to roof structure. They should be properly managed with training.
4.For straight growing plants, they should be prunned so that they don’t occupy more space. They bear fruits at last and their harvesting is done after harvesting of all other layer is complete.
These type of farming system needs good management practices as different crops are harvested at different times.
Some of the management practices to be done are:-
- There should be made proper provision of staking for climbing crops.
- The leafy crops growing on surface should be harvested in regular manner.
- There should be provision for insect traps within the structure.
Note:-Insects trap can be made in home and can also be bought in market(eg:-feromen trap).
- This type of farming cannot be done in open places. The quality and yield may suffer if it is done.So, What we do is, create the shadding structure with bamboo and wild grass.
- Training of different crops can be done to make good space under the structure.
- Weak seedlings should be removed and trellis should be made for climbers.
- Too much irrigation can be harmful. So, proper irrigation should be done as this type of farming system preserves the moisture.
Benefits Of Multilayer Farming
Multilayer farming has lots of benefits that we can get.Some of the Benefits are listed below:-
- Some crops mature earlier than others. So we can generate income on regular basis. This helps to generate employment also.
- Multilayer farming relegates the needs of expensive poly-houses, the shade can be made with the help of local materials like bamboo and leafy grass. It decreases the investment cost by 4 times.
- This structure allows the right amount of sunlight reach to crops. Even in peak summer yield is very good.
- It also helps in conservation of water and moisture in soil. Multilayer farming system conserves about 70% of water.
- The amount of fertilizers equal for one plant in field farming is sufficient to 4 crops inside multilayer structure.
- One of the major benefits of this type of farming system is no effects of climate change. There has become own ecosystem under the structure.So, the crop production is not totally affected by outer factors.
- This system helps to eradicate the germination of weeds. This helps to increase the production.
- It helps in the optimum use of land for the Agricultural production. Those who have less amount of land can also produce large amount of Agricultural commodities.
- It helps to generate employment opportunities.
- This system of farming helps in effective control of pests and weeds reducing investment cost.
- There is less attack of pest and diseases in this farming system.
FAQs On Multilayer Farming
1. Is Multilayer Farming Profitable?
Yes- In multilayer farming we can income from many crops in same field. In general people plant one main crop in field and they have to wait to get production and earn money.But-In multilayer farming-one can get harvest all round the year and generate more income.
2. Can We Start Multilayer Farming At Home?
Yes we can. We can’t make it on commercial way but for trial purpose we can select certain small land area and start cultivating different crops on same land. This can also work as kitchen garden.
3. Is Multilayer Farming Profitable?
Yes- In multilayer farming we can generate profit by selling many crops from same land produced all round the year. In general people plant one main crop in field and they have to wait to get production and earn money.But-In multilayer farming-one can get harvest all round the year and generate more income.
4. What Is Multi Storey Farming?
Multi Storey Farming is similar to multilayer farming. In this system, we grow the plants of different heights whose roots reach to different depth. This way, we utilise vertical space effectively.