Intensive vegetable rice rotation

Sagolsem Sumanglal Singh *

It is the story of Shri Sapam Lukhoi of Wabagai Thingel Leikai, Kakching a progressive and innovative farmer who is a very dedicated, hardworking and honest farmer. As conveyed by him, he owns a piece of land measuring about 0.5 ha, where he takes up various farming activities some of which are highlighted here particularly the inclusion of a method of rice cultivation that seems to be very striking and innovative one.

He is aware of the agricultural situation in Manipur where most of the paddy fields remain follow after kharif season. He has seen the situation of crops grown after rice such as cabbage, potato, pulses – mainly pea and oilseeds- mainly rapeseed and mustard in some pockets. He observed that these crops were not very profitable.

The vegetables are grown by most of the growers as single crop on their land holdings due to which prices fetched are very low due to over-flooding of those vegetables in the market. Moreover, rice cultivation is also not very profitable due to very high cost of cultivation. Mr. Lukhoi Singh had faced floods and droughts very often in his field due to which his crops were destroyed.


Considering all these problems, he thought of trying out some crop combinations in order to get maximum profit by utilizing his small piece of land and thus he had planned his crops in such a manner that maximum benefits could be achieved. So, he took up mainly various kinds of vegetable cultivation in a very much intensive planned manner since vegetables fetch much higher income.

He included rice in between the vegetables to make it vegetable rice rotation. Whenever he grows the crops, he thoughtfully follows most of the agronomic principles to the fullest possible benefit from them. In the present story, the principles he has followed are inter cropping, relay cropping, mixed cropping, minimum tillage, crop rotation, crop diversification etc.

His plan could be called a “super intensive multiple vegetable rice rotation.” A very interesting area in his endeavour is where he has successfully grown rice in a very innovative manner. In this process he mixed cropped the rice within the bhindi and French bean rows, by sowing the seed under direct seeded dry sown condition in May 2016, a very typical and successful endeavour indeed for this particular year in which the rice was produced by default under completely aerobic condition throughout the rice season.

In the earlier years too, this method of rice sowing was very successful while the neighbouring farmers failed to harvest rice successfully either in stagnant water after the rice plants were well established or drought conditions.


Here is how he has managed to grow 8 crops in one year starting from March 2016 to February of the next year, 2017 very successfully and have earned a good income. Out of the eight crops grown in the sequence, only seven crops have been included in the evaluation for economics of the system, since one crop (pumpkin) in the system was harvested beyond the one year i.e., after February 2017.

The present story is aimed at showing the possibility of such a cropping sequence which he had already taken up earlier to show emphasis on the method he has adopted to grow rice with much less investment. He puts everything in the right place, right time and right sequence. The method of growing rice in this crop sequence can be considered very innovative one.

Cropping sequence in 0.5 ha – In March the field was ploughed thoroughly, plots of 6 ft. width was made on which stakes of bamboo was erected into the loose soil.

o Cucumber (var. Alamgir-380) and cabbage (var. Green Hero) was intercropped.

o After one month of cabbage and cucumber bhindi was planted by dibbling long the sloping sides of the plots

o After another half month when the cucumber harvest started trailing, French bean (local) was dibbled in between the cucumber hills. Bhindi and French bean were relay crops of cucumber and cabbage intercrop after the French bean started to flower rice (CAU R-1) was sown in May under direct seeded dry sown condition as relay and mixed crop on the vegetable plots and inter culture of the French bean beds was done to incorporate the rice seeds into the soil.

o French bean harvest was completed earlier during which the bhindi harvest also started and continued until the rice was about to mature.

After the harvest of rice, potato pumpkin relay or intercropping was taken up very successfully. In this method, previously prepared pumpkin seedlings were planted along the sides of potato plots when the potato reached about the height of 1/2 ft.

Crops during October, 2015 – February, 2016 before the actual crop sequence of the present study 2016 March


Potato + pumpkin after direct seeded dry sown rice
Cost of cultivation for the whole year
Cabbage + Cucumber = Rs. 51000.00
Bhindi = Rs. (2000.00 + 9000) = Rs. 29000.00
French bean = Rs. 1600.00 (self-produced seed) + 12000.00 = Rs. 13600.00
Rice = Rs. 240.00 (for seed of 8 kg @ Rs. 8 kg-1) + 4000 (for Reaping) + 1700.00 (for heaping) + 3000.00 (machine threshing) = Rs. 4940.00
Potato = Rs. 80000.00
Total = Rs. 178540.00
Gross income:
Cabbage = Rs. 105000.00
Cucumber = Rs. 180000.00
French bean = Rs. 159000.00
Bhindi = Rs. 60000.00
Rice = Rs. 54000.00
Potato = Rs. 240000.00
Total = Rs. 798000.00
Net Profit (Rs. 798000.00 – Rs. 178000.00)
= Rs. 6,20,000.00
B:C = 4.5

Lessons Learnt

o Rice crop was assured with very less cost of cultivation
o No cracking of the soils even during very severe drought as the soil was not puddled
o Easy to work the soil for the next crop of rice where the potato haulm and pumpkin runner could be ploughed in for rice under SRI
o Minimum tillage for the relay or other crops on the farm
o Different items could be sold at the same time to the benefit of both producer and buyer. The buyers could get different items for their market without searching.
o Crops could be taken in a year
o Crop failure is reduced as, if one fails compensated by other, the next rice can be again sown as mixed crop under direct seeded dry sown condition after vegetables

For further details contact:-
Public Relations & Media Management Cell,
CAU, Imphal

* Sagolsem Sumanglal Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is SMS (PBG), KVK, Thoubal
This article was webcasted on June 30 2022 .

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