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Sustainability Improvement of Traditional Cropping System in Uttarakhand, India, through Intercropping with Medicinal nd Aromatic Plants
Crop production in mountain agriculture is in steady decline (5%–30%) over the past few decades. Only few species of cereals, pulses, potato, amaranth, etc. are important cash crops in the hilly regions of Uttarakhand, India. In traditional hill cropping systems, framers grow sesame, black soybean, corn, proso millet, amaranth, Brassica spp, etc. as mixed crop. These types of traditional cropping systems are not much advantageous and do not meet the requirements of the existing population. In the hilly regions Perilla, Hedychium, turmeric, industrial hemp, lemon grass, citronella, lavender, belladonna and other medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) have immense potential. However, they are still not a part of the cropping system. Introduction of these MAPs as intercrops with traditional crops will not only improve the production potential of main crops, but also generate additional income to the farming family. Besides immense cash value, these plants also have less/no threats from wild animals. Similarly, introduction of medicinal and aromatic crops with horticultural crops is one of the key options to enhance agriculture production, as topography and climate of Uttarakhand is suitable for growth of these crops.
Intercropping, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Sustainability, Traditional Cropping System.
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