Legume integration

Integration of leguminous crops as intercrops on terrace risers or as relay crops

Legumes are widely grown across the hills of Nepal, with the most common being soybean, lentils, black gram, cow pea, beans, horse gram, field peas, and rice bean. They are mostly intercropped or relay cropped with cereals such as maize, millet, and rice. They are also planted on the edges of terraces and rice paddy bunds. Depending on the species, they may be grown in rain-fed or irrigated fields during the winter or summer seasons.

The majority of the legumes grown by farmers are used for food or as a cash crop. The planting of fodder legumes has become more popular with the expansion of stall-feeding and the development of a dairy industry. The planting of legumes, with the main objective of improving soil fertility is a more recent development in Nepal’s hills.

WOCAT database reference: QT NEP3

Location: Nepal midhills

SWC measure: Agronomic

Land use: Annual cropping on rainfed agricultural land

Climate: Humid subtropical

Related approach: Farmer-to-farmer diffusion (QA NEP1), Farmer-led experimentation (QA NEP3), Farmer field school on integrated plant nutrient systems (QA NEP4)

Compiled by: SSMP

Date: January 2007