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Fruit yield and quality characteristics of high density Prunus persica (L.) Batsch plantation intercropped with medicinal and aromatic plants in the Indian Western Himalayas

Tripathi, P.; Shah, S.; Kashyap, S. D.; Tripathi, A.

Agroforestry Systems 93(5): 1717-1728

2019


ISSN/ISBN: 0167-4366
DOI: 10.1007/s10457-018-0276-9
Accession: 070946179

Alternative land management options which enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities to climatic change are critical to ensure livelihood security. Adoptability of climate smart land use systems can be enhanced by building on existing knowledge and practices of local communities. The impacts of climate change on the quality and productivity of fruit based systems have been observed across the state of Himachal Pradesh in the Indian Western Himalayas. The effect of the intercropping of medicinal and aromatic plants on the yield of peach cv. July Elberta was assessed over 2010-2011 in the experimental farm of the Department of Fruit Science, Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, Himachal Pradesh. There were four treatments, which included peach with medicinal plants namely Ocimum sanctum, Withania somnifera and Andrographis paniculata, and peach without medicinal plants as control. Photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate and difference in above and below canopy temperature of peach were higher where peach was intercropped with medicinal plants than in control. Growth characteristics of peach, fruit yield and physicochemical characteristics of fruits were markedly improved in the intercropping than sole cropping system. Among the three medicinal plant species Withania somnifera showed superior performance under peach than either Ocimum sanctum or Andrographis paniculata. The results suggest that fruit productivity and quality can be improved through careful integration of fruit trees and medicinal crops.

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