Diversification of rice (Oryza sativa L.) based cropping systems for higher productivity, resource-use efficiency and economic returns in South Gujarat of India
Continuous adoption of rice-rice cropping system has led to deterioration of soil quality resulting in a serious threat to its sustainability in high rainfall zone of South Gujarat, India. Therefore crop diversification with wider choice in the production of a variety of crops is being promoted to restore the soil quality. A field experiment was conducted at Navsari, India during 2003-2007 on heavy black soil to evaluate the production potential, sustainability, resource-use efficiency and economics of 10 cropping systems based on rice (Oryza sativa L.). System productivity of rice - fenugreek -okra was the highest (25.73 ton/ha) followed by rice-onioncowpea (24.15 ton/ha). Lowest System productivity was registered with rice-wheat-fallow system (7.85 ton/ha). Sustainable yield index (0.94), production efficiency (102.94 kg/ha/day), and field water use efficiency (32.99 kg/ha-cm) were maximum with rice - fenugreek -okra system. Similarly, net return (Rs 96286/ha), net return per rupee invested (Rs 2.84), and production efficiency (Rs 385.14 /ha/day) and field water use efficiency (Rs 1234.43/ha-cm) in economic terms was maximum with rice - fenugreek -okra cropping sequence. Thus rice - fenugreek -okra was the most productive, sustainable, resource-use efficient and remunerative cropping system followed by rice-onion-cowpea system.