Inter-cropping bananas with coffee, is it advisable
From experience, is it advisable to intercrop bananas with coffee? If so, could you please guide me on this issue before I mess up? And again, what is the recommended size of the hole to plant bananas and if I have cow dung, how can I apply it as in the mixing? Thanks. Dan Amooti
Dear Dan (Answered by Given Bariza Atuheire an agriculturist)
Coffee and banana Intercrop is highly recommended. What is most important is to know how to space the two so that they live in harmony.
First of all, let’s say you are planting Robusta coffee spacing is 10x10ft with holes of 2x2x2ft. Meaning bananas will be spaced at 20x20ft with holes of 3x3x3ft. Make sure bananas are not in the same line with coffee. Actually four coffee plants should be having one banana plant in the middle. That is why bananas should be given a bigger spacing not to compete with coffee at any point.
With this information, the farmer knows which of the two crops is a major crop and the minor crop. If you want to make coffee a major crop, follow the above, and if you want to make bananas a major crop, then space coffee widely. Just doing the reverse.
With manure application, when digging holes, separate the top black soil from the red soil. Then you can mix about three spades of manure with black soil and refill it in the holes. Red soil can be put on top of the hole as it helps in suppressing weeds and encourages plant roots to grow downwards.