Crop diversification of predominant Pearl millet based cropping system for higher productivity, resource-use efficiency and profitability in Semi-Arid Rajasthan

R. Sammauria, O.P. Meena, M.R. Yadav, A.K. Gupta, H.L. Yadav, K.C. Gupta


Continuous adoption of Pearl millet-Wheat cropping system led to reduction in productivity which put a serious threat to its sustainability in semi-arid eastern plain zone of Rajasthan, India. Crop diversification with wider choice with a variety of crops is being promoted as an alternative to profit maximization with enhanced soil fertility status. Therefore, a long term experiment was initiated to evaluate the production potential, sustainability, resource-use efficiency and economics of nine Pearl millet based cropping systems. Result revealed that system productivity in terms of pearl millet equivalent yield (PMEY) was highest (30488 kg ha-1) with groundnut-wheat-cluster bean-onion crop rotation. Moreover, groundnut-wheat-cluster bean-onion recorded the highest SYI and land use efficiency (0.65 and 73.97%) followed by pearl millet-wheat-cluster bean-barley sequence (0.63 and 65.75%). The groundnut-wheat-cluster bean-onion also generated highest number of man days/ha/year (405). The highest values of organic carbon were found under green gram-mustard-pearl millet-lentil and cluster bean-pea-pearl millet-lentil. The maximum value of available P was recorded with cluster bean-mustard-green gram-garden cress followed by the groundnut-wheat-cluster bean-onion sequence. Available K decreased significantly from their initial values in all the cropping systems except groundnut-wheat-cluster bean-onion crop rotation. Among the various systems, groundnut-wheat-cluster bean-onion realized the highest net returns ( 213000 ha-1), followed by pearl millet-wheat-cluster bean-barley ( 163254 ha-1). Overall, it can be concluded that under the semi-arid agro climatic conditions of Rajasthan, groundnut-wheat-cluster bean-onion, followed by pearl millet-wheat-cluster bean-barley, were more productive, sustainable, resource use efficient and remunerative than other cropping systems.


Crop diversification, Pearl millet-wheat, Resource-use efficiency, Soil fertility, Sustainable yield index.

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