China is the country which is trying to improve its status almost in every regard and that is the reason behind its success. Bozhi Wu and his research team are exploring new ways on the steep slopes of China to improve economic and environmental stability.
This research team studies the use of inter cropping and growing more than one crop per season oh the hilly land. And their main focus is the staple grain crop, corn. They linked inter cropping the corn with either Setaria grass, used in forage, or chili peppers. And the results are amazing, it will give excitement to Chinese farmers’ methods.
For the time period of four years, this research team measured runoff, erosion, and economic return for the four variant types of cropping systems. They compared the only chili, corn (maize) and then inter cropping corn with chili and corn with Setaria grass. This land research was done in Yunnan Province of southwest China. And the other point was that all these fields were rain-fed, with no irrigation.
Wu said: “Reducing erosion can sustain or increase soil fertility and productivity. We researched intercropping systems that could reduce erosion, stabilize food production, and increase farmers’ incomes.”
Their study and research showed that intercropping gives many welfares to the soil in so many ways. The extra soil cover delivered by the second crop help to reduce erosion. The plants help soak up extra water and nutrients. This additional “pull” of the nutrients can help decrease runoff the nutrients into adjacent land. The final one is growing different crops on the soil upsurges the biodiversity. And the amazing benefit of this is that it can help with pest and disease control.
Wu pointed out the other benefit which is the most important one and that is the economic benefit for the farmers. The farmers will get huge economic benefit by growing chili peppers with their corn. Chili or Setaria crops on the land showed less soil erosion and made more money for them. The chili pepper gives them more economic benefit and they can make more money with it. It will bring in an extra $1, 000-$2, 000per year on each hectare farmed. And this is the true benefit for farmers.
So, inter cropping can save their land from erosion and gives them huge busters of economic profit too.